“Don’t be sad, Little Joshua. God has a special place for those who feel left out.”
When Abigail spoke those words, her eyes filled with tears and her voice cracked. Just a little, but enough so all the parents and friends felt the emotion of the moment with her. The school Christmas play was bringing Bethlehem’s manger to life on the church stage.
Abigail is a fourth-grader at Lincoln City Christian School where 10% of the students are members of the Seventh-day Adventist church. She, and all the rest of the students, were in the play, standing in front of the congregation dressed as sheep, shepherds, kings, the innkeeper, and Mary and Joseph. Abigail was dressed as a Holstein cow, the best friend of Little Joshua, a lamb who had been born with a crippled leg.
As we all know, this has been a challenging year. Especially for parents with elementary-age children who need to be in school. When parents in Lincoln City learned that the Adventist school was open – students and teachers meeting safely each day together – they came to visit, listened, were awed, and enrolled their children. School attendance has nearly tripled!
Sabbath they were all at church – parents, grandparents, neighbors, and the children. All eager to share in the Christmas music and the Christmas play – The Crippled Lamb.
Everything went just as you would expect. The sheep were darling! Some of the lambs forgot where to stand. The background music missed its cue. Microphones were occasionally lost inside a costume. The girls trio sang O Holy Night like angels. And the baby - lost beneath the manger – was found by an observant sheep! Everyone laughed and cried at the right times. Jesus was there. It was wonderful!
Click on the photos below to see larger versions of each photo.