The lead in a play has the main role, the biggest part, the pivotal moment. Mine was missing. I had planned out the whole story meticulously. Each character would be brought up at the moment in the play when they appear. Well-behaved audience members were holding their characters waiting for their moment on stage.
I did not entrust my star player to anyone but myself. I was concerned that he would somehow be misplaced or dropped or, heaven forbid, bounced under a couch or something! No, I needed to keep the little guy safe until his starring moment.
I realized as Mary was brought onto the stage that something was niggling at the back of my brain. Then when Joseph appeared I began to look around nervously as I simultaneously told the next part of the story and had the ever important donkey brought up.
Helpers noticed my alarm as the story was being translated. Where WAS the Baby Jesus? What had I done with him to keep him safe? As the story continued they looked under tables, packages, all the paraphernalia of the Christmas party.
A chocolate snowman took the place in the manger that belonged to my little baby boy!
A chocolate snowman.
The story went on as I mentally screamed at myself for misplacing the very meaning of the first Christmas. Why didn’t I let a child hold him? Where could he be? Was he lost forever?
The story concluded without chocolate guy being replaced by the rightful owner of the manger. No one seemed to care that a snowman candy was the stand in. As I came around to the front of the stable to collect the pieces, there in the dark recesses of the creche was a small blue bundle.
JESUS HAD BEEN FOUND! I made the joyous announcement spontaneously, much to the surprise of the audience. A cheer went up and the party continued. My relief at finding the little bundle erased my concern and I was again the confident MC of the party.
There is no stand in who could replace what God did for us that day so long ago. Only the genuine article could fill that role. A role that played out a plan so perfect, so divine, only God could pull it off. Thank you for not getting lost in the paraphernalia of life, Jesus. Thank you for accepting the greatest role in the Universe. And you rocked it!!