You may have wondered this last week as you watched the Children’s Christmas Play “The ABCs of Christmas.”  There was even a line saying “L is for little lambs.  We’ll see them soon.”

So where were the sheep?  We had three shepherds, but did we have any sheep?

Picture Credit: Pastor Betsy

I knew that casting 2-year-olds as sheep was risky!  One family decided not to participate in in-person activities until all their children can be vaccinated.  One family had to quarantine because of Covid.  One family decided that their 2-year-old wasn’t ready for this.  And one 2-year-old participated at practice but when it came to the big day, decided to stay with mom rather than come up.  We did see her at the end of the play though!

Last year we had challenges with the sheep too.  If you recall, the play was virtual last year.  This meant we were able to do some of the filming outside like the shepherds watching their flocks.  We were out in the grassy area south of the parking lot.  The sheep had a great time running around.  One of the shepherds complained to her parent, the sheep aren’t supposed to be doing that!  It was then explained to her that the role of the shepherd is to keep track of where the sheep are!

Anytime you do a Children’s Christmas Play there are these kinds of challenges.  But maybe they aren’t challenges – maybe they are a mirror of reality.  We can learn a lot from these sheep and shepherds.  We’ve individually and collectively been through a lot in the past two years.  Taking time to run and play when we have the chance is a good idea.  There is joy in that. 

Being hesitant to participate in things is okay.  Not getting together with people in a pandemic is perfectly acceptable.  Deciding that now is not the right time is okay.  And being hesitant to try new things is something that we all experience, regardless of our age.  This is part of what makes us human.  This is part of why we so appreciate God’s grace.  This is hopefully why we have patience with one another. 

Let us pray…

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
    he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
    for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
    I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff—
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
    my whole life long.