“Don’t be sad, Little Joshua. God has a special place for those who feel left out.”
When Abigail spoke those words, her voice cracked. Just a little, but enough to let parents and friends feel the emotion of the moment. The school Christmas play was bringing Bethlehem’s manger to life on the church stage.
Abigail is a fourth-grader at Lincoln City Christian School in Oregon, where only 10% of the students are Adventist church members. She and the rest of the LCCS students were standing in front of the local Adventist congregation dressed as sheep, shepherds, kings, the innkeeper, and Mary and Joseph. Abigail was dressed as a Holstein cow, the best friend of Little Joshua, a lamb who had been born with a crippled leg.
This has been a challenging year, especially for parents with elementary-age children who need to be in school. When parents in Lincoln City learned that the Adventist school was open with students and teachers meeting safely together each day, they came to visit and enrolled their children. School attendance nearly tripled!
On the day of the play — a Sabbath — they were all at church. Parents, grandparents, neighbors and children, all eager to share in the Christmas celebration: The Crippled Lamb.
Everything went just as you would expect. The “sheep” were darling! Some of the “lambs” forgot where to stand. The background music missed its cue. Microphones were occasionally lost inside a costume. And the baby – lost beneath the manger – was found by an observant “sheep.” Everyone laughed and cried at the right times. Jesus was there, and it was wonderful!