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Unto YOU a child …the thought came to me

December 19, 2011

 …the thought came to me


For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given and the government shall be upon His shoulders, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.      Isaiah 9:6 

This weekend we enjoyed one of my very favorite ways to celebrate the Christmas season. We saw the play The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.

 It begins with the line: The Herdmans were the worst children in the history of the world. And when we see the way that the five scraggly, rough-and-tumble, raising themselves Herdman children highjack a perfectly good church Christmas pageant, we begin to believe it. The very idea of combining the Herdmans and a Sunday School play is enough to make any self-respecting church lady begin to itch. 


The Herdmans terrorize and intimidate other children, steal their snacks, and take the Lord’s name in vain.   Plus, they don’t know the first thing about the Christmas story. When the story is explained to them, they retell it using words like “pregnant” and include plans to kill Herod – and rename the story “Revenge at Bethlehem.” Most shocking is that Emma Jean, who smokes cigars in the ladies’ room, appoints herself to play the part of Mary.


The pageant is destined to be a disaster, especially considering that Gladys, cast as the Angel of the Lord, interprets the role as a Marvel Comic book character. She thinks the Angel comes “out of the black of the night with a horrible vengeance!” She bosses the shepherds without mercy and makes her entrances with a startling “Sha-zam!”


Through the course of the play, we get a  delightful reminder that in our traditionalism, we can easily lose track of the heart of the holiday.


Best of all, in the end the Herdmans get the Christmas story. They really get it. Though I’ve seen the finale presented many times in different places –  urban churches, simple playhouses and large historic theaters – I still cry when little raggle-taggle Gladys Herdman runs out of the darkness into the spotlight at center stage, points to the audience and yells,

 “Hey! Hey! Unto YOU a child is born!”

Then I get it, too. All over again.

The posts this week will explore that wonderful verse from Isaiah. Stop by again.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. cal wolfe permalink
    December 16, 2016 7:43 pm

    where can I purchase the Christmas card “Unto you is born this day” which appears on your page?

    • February 22, 2017 12:03 pm

      I’m so sorry for the delay in responding. I seldom come to this site because I am now blogging at Because this piece was written several years ago, I no longer have records for all photo sources. I apologize for my inability to answer your question.

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