Amongst our favorite traditions is reading The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, by Barbara Robinson. Growing up, this book was read to us prior to Christmas. When Jon and I had our children, I started reading it to them. It is a story about The Herdmans, the worst kids in the “history of the world.” Everyone is shocked when The Herdmans show up at church to participate in the Christmas pageant. None of them has ever even heard the Christmas story. The Herdman’s interpretation of the Christmas story is quite unusual, but the pageant is the most meaningful pageant ever.
At first glance, one would think it’s simply a “cute” Christmas story which it most certainly is. But there’s much more. The lessons I have gleaned from this book are numerous. It has guided the way I think about people and how I love people. Some of the best conversations I have had with our children relate to this story. When I asked my kids what they like about this book, they said, “It’s funny. I learned that a lot of bad kids can actually be good.”
Sometimes the people that always gets the parts (in the play) aren’t the best person for the part. Everyone needs to hear the story of Christmas. Even if it doesn’t seem like it, everyone can understand Jesus in their own way. Simple? Yes. Profound? Yes. We all need Jesus.
This Christmas season, I implore you to step away from those you are most comfortable with and be Jesus to The Herdmans.
“Hey! Unto you a child is born!”
Anneke Crowe, Children’s Ministry Director