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Posts Tagged ‘Nativity’

As I put the finishing touches on the script for our church Christmas program I have been thinking about the responsibility that comes with writing.

In writing comedy, you have a responsibility to make people laugh. If you are writing non-fiction you have a responsibility to present accurate information.  If you are writing for small children you have a responsibility for making sure you help them fall in love with reading. If you are writing for middle grade you have a responsibility to help them grasp change and growth.  All writing, especially if it becomes published, carries with it the responsibility of applying your best to produce positive, lasting effect.

Writing a Christmas program should be easy.  After all, the Story is the story – angels, shepherds, camels and kings.  But still, every person in the audience is different.  They hear, perceive and observe in different ways.

A former church I attended used live animals in the Christmas pageant. I guarantee you that when the young children saw sheep they wanted to reach out and touch them. Adults worried about the mess on the carpet. Only the farmers in the crowd actually had thoughts of shepherds on a chilly night. 

Even a live baby in the pageant, while appealing to everyone, elicits different thought and emotion.  The women will feel the prick of tears, and the miracle of the birth.  Children will smile and see baby Jesus. Men will be stoic but at the same time feel the mystery.

I’ve been working on this narration and dialog for weeks and I can tell you I’ve had a few sleepless nights.   My passion is that it reach out and carry the beautiful, life saving message of a Savior’s birth in a way that no one can miss. I know there will be an audience comprised of long time Christians, new Christians and people who haven’t yet made a commitment.

All of them will walk in with their own private burdens. All will bring experiences into the sanctuary that will color what they see, hear and perceive.  Will it be enough to bring them closer to where they need to be?  Will it magnify the manger, add meaning to the message and glorify the God I serve? Will it speak convincingly to the one who has never heard the story before and at the same time be fresh and amazing to the one who has heard it a hundred times?

My fretting and worrying finally ended last night as I polished the narration.  God reminded me that the responsibility of this writer is to compose but it is His job to reveal. Mine is the task of arranging words and capturing thoughts in catchy phrases and colorful prose. His is the task of carrying those words on wings of love and compassion into the hearts and minds of His children. Mine is to retell what He has already written, to sing His praises and to express what I know beyond a shadow of a doubt – a Savior came in the dark and lit up the world. My Father will lift the writing to a level that only He can. Praise Him for His gracious gifting and His faithfulness in guiding us to use what He has given for His glory.     

For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power ; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life  and spirit, and of joints and marrow, exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart. Hebrews 4: 12

 

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