The parson was in the kitchen of the church. He was cooking some chilli, a pot of potato and cheese soup and a pot of vegetable soup. The cornbread was baking in the oven and a big serving bowl of salad was already ready.
It was the night of the Living Nativity. The participants were donning their costumes in the fellowship hall. Everyone was talking and enjoying the moment, ready to enact their annual presentation and to enjoy the fellowship and food after standing in the cold for two hours.
Edna Pearson, the coordinator of the event this year, was barking orders. Peter Sheffield was directed to get the sheep, goats, and donkey out of the horse trailers behind the church and get them up to the Bethlehem stable. Wanda Jones was instructed to be sure the lighting was correct. Fred Cousins, one of the teens, came in dragging a string of lights behind him. He informed Edna the lights were not working because one of the bulbs was busted. Edna asked him if there were no replacement bulbs. He told her there was not but he could remedy the situation. He bolted into the kitchen and asked the parson where the Reynolds Wrap was kept. Finding it, he then stuffed some into the socket of the missing bulb. He plugged the light string in and, wa-la, the whole string gave forth light.
The parson smiled and kept cooking. He’d decided since the event was being held on his birthday and at his age he had a number of things he’d rather do than stand in the night cold for two hours he would delegate himself to be the cook.
As the parson worked, he listened through the pass through window to the conversations taking place in the fellowship hall. Edna was on a tear. She was insisting that this year all actors in the drama had to be accurately reflecting the Nativity as it was recorded in holy writ. The wise men were instructed that according to scripture they arrived after the shepherds. Therefore, the wise men should stand further away from the baby Jesus than the shepherds. The sheep should be kept off to the side of the lighted area to reflect the fact that the shepherds would not have actually brought the sheep with them.
The parson listened intently as he went about his kitchen duties. Edna had obviously read the first few chapters of Matthew and Luke more than once. And Edna wanted the evening to be in accordance with those words.
After everyone had left to take their assigned position, Edna walked through the kitchen. “You worked hard on this, Edna,” said the parson.
“Thanks, Parson. I appreciate that. I just thought if we’re going to portray the Nativity story we should remain true to how it’s recorded.”
“You certainly, worked hard on that,” the parson commented. “I was a little confused about John Palmer. Who was he portraying?” John Palmer was a ten-year-old.
“Oh, John,” said Edna. “You couldn’t tell? John was the Little Drummer Boy.”