Every year our L'Arche Edmonton community stages the best Christmas pageant ever -- a simple retelling of the birth of Jesus with lots of carolling. It's my favourite Christmas event every year -- seeing our people with and without disabilities working together to perform a Christmas play that is always touching and unique. The picture above is last year's -- two of our core members as Mary and Joseph, and the mom of "baby Jesus" settling him into the arms of a delighted Mary, who cooed and cuddled and kept him happy until his twin brother took a turn. As I think back on the pageants I've attended, I remember the different people and the specialness they brought to the roles of holy family, shepherds, kings, angels and inkeepers... and for me, it just wouldn't be Christmas without everyone singing Silent Night in as many different languages as our community holds.
So if you're in the neighbourhood on December 17th, you're invited to come to St. Thomas D'Aquin Catholic Church (8410 89 Street in Edmonton) at 7 p.m. for possibly the most Christmassy hour or two you'll ever spend. Bring a friend or three, a little non-perishable something for the Food Bank, and a few dollars in case you feel like buying a craft from our Day Program Craft Sale. All are welcome!
And if you don't live nearby, watch your local papers, community announcements or school notice boards and enjoy a Christmas pageant in your area. In a world where radio and TV stations only seem to play "holiday tunes" and "seasonal specials," it's a treat to hear real Christmas carols and watch a real Christmas play unfold before your eyes... I can't wait!
In the words of Jean Vanier:
I like this time of Christmas. God becomes flesh. He becomes small to teach us to love and to be open to those who are suffering and who are in difficulty....