Coming Together to Tell the Story

Posted: February 6, 2011 by bethanyfirch in Young Adult Stories
The theme for General Assembly this year is “Tell It!”, and we are encouraged to tell our own stories.  As both of my parents are pastors and I used to lead the Worship Team for Disciples on Campus at Chapman University, I have an abundance of stories.  So I will tell you the story of one of my favorite church times from this year: the church Christmas play.  I wrote the play as a talk show interviewing the classic characters about their parts of the Christmas story.  I even chose the song that the cast sang, “Go Tell It on the Mountain”, to emphasize how important it is to tell the Christmas story.  We had about a third of the church (over fifty people) of all ages involved in the production, including many of our young adults, and it was an outstanding success.
Now let me tell you the story of one of my least favorite church times from this year: rehearsing for the church Christmas play.  Lord, it is hard to keep the Christmas spirit when kids don’t have enough supervision, the director is talking to parents more than directing, and people are late or absent, including our baby Jesus.  But we kept working and working…and not getting much better.
I must admit that I was pretty worried going into the play.  But as the play started, the audience was so excited that even if it had gone wrong (which it didn’t, thank God!), I don’t think anyone other than I would have noticed.  Thinking back, I figured out what made the play so much better than the rehearsal.  First, we had Jesus in it – definitely didn’t hurt.  But most importantly, we had a supportive and enthusiastic audience.  I realized that we needed the whole church (not just a third) involved to make it great.  We all had our roles – writer, director, costume organizer, even Jesus – but to tell the story best, we needed everyone to fill those roles and someone to listen.  What good is telling any story with no one to listen to it?

– Bethany Firch

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