Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Story

Yes, I am only caught up on blogging through Christmas Eve... please just deal with it. It would've been nice to share all this via my mobile blogging on my Blackberry or iPhone, but alas, don't own one and couldn't do it anyway from here, so you will just have to think back about 10 days to the holiday festivities...

On Christmas Eve the youth group held a service of their own, which was very cool, with various choirs:

As you can see the church was decorated extravagantly with balloons and even a Christmas tree with flashing lights. While I would never think to decorate my home this way (as I come from a totally different context), I do find it very pleasing in its own way. I don't view this as a shabby attempt at imitating Western decorations (and don't want you to either), but as a beautiful extravagance lavished on the God they love with the best they have.

The program included readings and of course, drama! There were actually several dramas, but the first and foremost was the Christmas Story set to instrumental Silent Night.

Here the shepherds come to worship Jesus (someone borrowed a baby brother, and he was silent the whole time!) No dolls here!

Then from the back of the church, the Magi wound around following the Star. Not sure if it was all part of the drama or not, but there was only one light bulb lit right over where Mary and Joseph sat...

And as we have seen in every Congolese rendition of this Story, Herod and his soldiers play a key role. This doesn't usually make it to an American church play. No one wants their preschooler dressing up as a tyrannical bad guy. But it IS a real part of the Story. Here, Herod sat in the background up on his throne, bodyguards pacing in front of him with weapons drawn (electrical tape over sticks), soldiers jumping at his every order. And this play ended with the soldiers marching home victoriously after Jesus' parents flee to Egypt and the innocent babies of Bethlehem are slaughtered. (They pretended on the unsuspecting front row of the audience, which illicited the necessary screaming sound effects!)

The drama of the Story we saw several years ago in a rural village ended with Herod's death, as that is the end of the direct threat on Jesus new life.
His freedom to return to his people.
The freedom he one day shares with us.

Overall I was really glad I went, and thankful for all the work the youth put into this 2-hr service!
(More Christmas pics coming soon)

1 comment:

a pilgrim said...

Looks like a great event!