Merry and Joy-seph

For about an hour tonight, I was pregnant again.

No worries, the pillow — I mean, baby — was quickly, safely and perhaps best of all, painlessly, delivered. Tonight, our church held its Hanging of the Greens ceremony. Much of the congregation joins for a special service, telling the story of the birth of Jesus and helping to decorate the church. They needed actors and Scott and I were asked to portray Mary and Joseph.

We’ve spent the last couple of weeks practicing our lines as we wash dishes, fold laundry and play with the baby.

There is so much to be done before the baby arrives. The time is short and I must make this house ready for this special child…

Then, a quick run-through this morning made me nervous. There was a broom to be sweeping and memorized lines to be saying; garlands to decorate and a robe, complete with pillow/baby, belt and microphone to be wearing.

When I put the costume on and waited behind a door listening to the beautiful singing of a Christmastime hymn, it hit me that this was much more than a favor to the pastors (though we were very glad to help) and more than a game of pretend. There was a very important story to be told — to those who had heard it 100 times before and to the littlest ones in the room, wearing their bowties and slacks, their red, black and white dresses with black patent leather shoes, it was a story that they would need to refer back to when life gets hard (which it will).

The ceremony went really well (minus a few flubs here and there by a nervous Mary…), but my favorite part was sitting next to our pastor during the singing of several songs, including One Small Child, holding tight to my sleepy baby and watching Zack’s curious eyes staring intently, peacefully and calmly at the wonderful man and wonderful singing voice sitting next to him. I felt so proud to be a mom, a wife, a community member and a church goer.

We came home to our newly-decorated house, put a tired baby to bed and I couldn’t help but just sit looking at the lights on the Christmas tree, with Zack’s toys scattered before it, thinking about how beautiful this holiday will be and how blessed our last year has been.

I thought I was doing a favor for my church. Really, they did an incredible favor for me and my family.


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