The Songs of Christmas: Day 7
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All Hands On Deck
I grew up in a very small Baptist church. In the way of entertainment, it didn’t offer a lot of options outside of Sunday school, sunrise revivals, and bible competitions. Twice a year we had the opportunity to put all of our creative juices to work: VBS and The Christmas Play. Due to our small congregation, each event was all-hands-on-deck style. One minute you’re greeting visitors at the door, then you’re restocking toilet paper in the bathroom, and the next minute you’re Joseph trying to keep baby Jesus from crying on stage (because baby dolls didn’t cut it in our church).
One of my many jobs was to sound the trumpet. I played the trumpet in the school band and it was a skill that our Creative Director (who was also the piano player, children’s church leader, and bible drill coach) would not let slip through the Christmas season unutilized. The trumpet became part of the DNA of our Christmas Play and I was just the trumpeter to make it happen.
I’d like to say that I played a beautifully written ballad or even a full military reveille in all of its heroic glory. But instead, my trumpet was the assertive, obnoxious, unpredictable signal that something important was about to happen. At the time, I thought it was my responsibility and duty to sound my trumpet, announcing the dramatic happenings like when Jesus was born in the manager or when the shepherds arrived to adorn Him with gifts. Looking back, I’m 99.9% certain my trumpet was just the Creative Director’s attempt to keep the elderly in the audience from dozing off.
What’s even better is that (remember: all-hands-on-deck) I was responsible for the trumpeting regardless of my character in the play. Sometimes it made sense for my character to pull out a trumpet and ramble off a few notes like when I was the angel that appeared to tell Mary she would birth the Son of God. Other times, well, it was less than desirable…like the year I was a farm animal in the manger or when I was finally old enough to play Mother Mary herself. There’s nothing silent about the night that Mary snuck out a trumpet from under a hay bell and announced that the Prince of Peace had made His debut.
Regardless of the reasons that my trumpet was an essential part of our play, I was always happy to show off my skills and relished the outpour of compliments it got me at the post-play dessert bar in the basement. This may not be a traditional Christmas Song memory but every time I hear a bugle call, it sounds like music to my ears.
Today’s story is by Jennifer Ragsdale. Jennifer is a flawed child of God stumbling through His unique plan for her life. She’s spent most of 2015 releasing control of her life to the Lord, practicing the art of hugging, and traveling with her husband Spencer.