Monday, December 17, 2012

Second Row, Piano Side: The Church Christmas Plays

Growing up on the Second Row, Piano Side,
afforded me many opportunities to see
the making of a great Christmas production year after year
up close and personal.
When I say production, I'm talking Lights, Camera, Action!
My mom wrote a play that was produced year after year
on the front lawn of our church.
Many months before the stage was set,
Mama and her many assistants
assembled together
actors and actresses with speaking parts
to record parts on a reel to reel recorder.
I'm talking movie reel!
The voices were familiar and the parts were the same
year after year.
I was always a "little" angel in the play,
(who got her tail tore up nightly
at rehearsal.)
Yeah, some angel, huh?

The part never did fit quite right:)
I dreamed of being Mary.
Although I never got to play the BIG part,
I was center stage on my own platform.
Hearing the words, night after night,
I recited the story of our Savior's birth.
I wrapped my baby Jesus in swaddling clothes
and laid him in a cardboard box manger.

Everything was in unison as each part
was played out on the front lawn of
Sandersville First Church of the Nazarene.

Each person had a role to fill-
Mary, Joseph, The Choir of Angels,
the Shepherds, the Wise Men,
the Innkeeper, and even the live animals.
(Mary even came to the stable riding on a stubborn mule one year!)
The story was real to this little girl
on the Second Row, Piano Side.

I sang the sweet carols daily
and anticipated nightly rehearsals
the week before Christmas.
The night finally arrived
as everyone in the community
came to witness 
the greatest story ever told.
Only it wasn't just a story.
It was a presentation of the birth of our Redeemer, our Savior,
Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace, Mighty God,
Emanuel-God with us.
The Wise Men followed a star.
My journey to Jesus has been a mix of twists and turns.
I asked Jesus into my heart as pure and innocent
5 year old.
As Daddy gave the invitation,
I tugged on mama's dress and asked if I could go forward.
I view that day in living color.
When I was 12 years old, I came home
from camp horrified that this sweet Jesus
that I had come to know as a baby
would return and take some people away and leave others.
Separation from my family was enough to turn me around.
For years I literally walked this journey with much fear and trembling.
This Christmas I am experiencing the birth of the Messiah
I've been thinking about this story...
Mary and Joseph saw the Glory of God (The LIGHT)
as an angel appeared to them.
The Wise Men followed a STAR-another great manifestation of LIGHT.
The Shepherds were awakened by a GREAT LIGHT as the Glory of the Lord
shone 'round about them and
angels proclaimed "good tidings of great joy."
As a little girl, my daughter sang about that LIGHT... 
"I see a star, a bright and shining star
See way, up there it is so very far.
Where it goes, I wonder who will know
How it twinkles, how it glitters
How it lights the night.
How it twinkles, how it glitters
How it lights the night."
Hoping that this Star that WHO appeared one night long ago,
will appear to you today bringing HIS LIGHT to you this Christmas.
From My Heart to Yours,
Merry Christmas:)
BTW, the tree above with the STAR???
It is filled with old ornaments
from my baby boy's (he's 27)
Stay tuned for the trimming of the tree.


  1. Beautiful post my friend. WHERE ARE YOUR COMMENTS?

    Love you~


  2. Bonnie, I love reading your story and to find out even good little girls got their bottoms warmed. LOL. Bless you. I always tried to be a good kid and do what mommy said but I could still get spanked. LOL. Let's see Christmas with our child's eye in our hearts. Blessings, xoxo,Susie

  3. A beautiful post, Bonnie. Lots of twists and turns in all our lives, but God has remained the same throughout. Sending love to you this evening.

  4. Oh Bonnie. I was front row next to the aisle, so my dearest could see my face as he preached. I loved the story, how it so reminds me of our 50 years in ministry in several different churches as our children grew, and then 27 years in our last church as they all left the nest.
    Christmas plays are the best. What better way to learn of our Savior.

    I was 10 when I fell the tug at my heart that I needed Jesus. A girl a little older saw my concern and ask if I wanted her to go down to the front with me. That was all I needed and accepted the Lord that day and was baptize a few months later. Best decision I ever made. A decision for eternity.
    Love you Bonnie...Love your stories.


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