A few days ago, I was instant messaging with a beloved minister amigo. We got to talking about wacky Christmas pageants and I mentioned a college friend’s brother, who was ten years old and playing Joseph when, at one of the rehearsals, he picked baby Jesus up, spun his head around and went “Worship me! Worship me! Watch my head spin!*”
Well, I thought of another story and told him I’d put it up on the Chaliceblog.
Presbyterian minister Mary-who-Dances once preached at a church in New York City where many of the theater folks come to worship. During their Christmas pageant, one of the shepherds pointed up at the prop star hanging by a rope from the ceiling, saying:
“And, Lo! A star is rising in the east!”
Kaa-BOOM! The congregation collectively gasped as the star exploded into an orgy of sparklers, color and fire. The star burned and crackled for a moment, then died out as quickly as it had begun.
After the show, Mary pulled aside the shepherd’s daddy, who was one of the technical guys for Phantom of the Opera down on Broadway.
She asked for an explanation.
Well, he said, if it was his kid playing the shepherd, he wanted the start to look REALLY impressive. So he went down to Chinatown and got some illegal fireworks and put them on the star and rigged it up so…
And why didn’t he warn anybody that this was going to happen?
Well, he didn’t know for certain it would work…
Anyway, that’s the exploding star story. And it may be a big exaggeration of what really happened, Mary-who-Dances can be like that.
*Umm… My college friend’s brother had some behavior problems.