Choir Of Angels

Pastor Peterson has demythologized Christmas. For at least three generations our Christmas program has followed the traditional scenario. No script has been needed for years. Even the props are standard; the manger, the shepherds’ crooks, the crowns of the wise men, and ‘the angels’ wings are always stored in the attic.

The actors vary a bit, but the casting is uniform. Mary and Joseph are recruited from the Senior department, the shepherds are Junior boys, and the angels are Beginner and Primary girls. We still have a choir loft behind the pulpit, and the most theatrical part of the program is the apparition of the angels.

First a blue light shows the sleepy forms of the shepherds on the platform; then a white spot bursts out on the herald angel rising to her feet in one corner of the loft. At the conclusion of her announcement the whole angelic choir stands to sing as a floodlight is switched on.

A few improvements have been made in the last few years. The herald angel part is now taken by Miss Fixture since it was found that the sudden illumination often left a Junior angel more terrified than the shepherds. The wise men have gone back to stocking feet after an unsuccessful experiment with “zoris” for sandals.

That was before Pastor Peterson began preaching about Christmas. Last year he shook up our wise men tradition. Most of us knew that the wise men came much later than the shepherds, and that the Christ-child was most certainly neither in a stable nor a manger by then. But the Pastor made the details of the biblical narrative so vivid that people began to notice the contrast with our pageant.

This year he treated the shepherds and the angels on the Sunday before our program. The pastor demythologizes in ...

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