Is It Just Another Story?
Saleama A. Ruvalcaba
What does Christmas really mean to you?
Our family attends a wonderful church; Bellevue Baptist Church. Each year Bellevue does an amazing gospel presentation called “The Singing Christmas Tree”. It is a spectacular stage production, slash presentation, of the gospel. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think you were at a Broadway play. It is phenomenal, to say the least. The cast is made up of over 500 youths from Bellevue’s youth ministry. These aren’t professional paid actors. They are regular students, from 4th grade to college, who attend school and have other responsibility, yet they rehearse for three months and perform “The Singing Christmas Tree” 8 times over a one-week period.
This was our first year to take part. My daughter and son were a part of the dance ensemble. My daughter can sing and dance in her sleep so I knew she would have a lot of fun. However, my 12-year-old son, “Dade”, I was a little nervous about. Coordination is a struggle for him. Simply tying his shoes or even putting on certain items of clothing, is a challenge. So trying to understand dance moves I knew wouldn’t be easy. Nonetheless he asked me to sign him up. He started rehearsals in September. After a few weeks I asked him how everything was going. He jokingly said he kept bumping into everyone. But I never got the impression that he was upset at not getting the dance moves. No one from the church ever called with concerns. We were still a little worried up until “opening night”, but we were sure everything would be fine – and it was. My husband and I were so proud of Dade. He performed with the middle school ensemble. They had four scenes and Dade did great.
Well something even more special took place. To our surprise, his Sunday school teacher, “Mike”, singled Dade out during class. Mike told everyone how proud he was of Dade. He said; “From day one, Dade could not get those dance moves together, yet he was at rehearsal every single week and he never gave up. Then finally one day it all clicked and during each performance, Dade nailed it.” We had no idea Mike was even a part of “The Singing Christmas Tree.” I was almost in tears when I heard how he shared this with the class. It also made me think of something. How committed are we to Christ? How committed are we to the cross?
During all 8 presentations of “The Singing Christmas Tree”, the senior pastor of Bellevue went on stage during intermission to share more of the gospel and invited people to accept Christ into their lives. The senior pastor made it very clear that “The Singing Christmas Tree” is not a play or a production. It is a gospel presentation. In its 41 years, that’s all it’s ever been – a gospel presentation. It’s not simply a Christmas program where we get to brag on how cute our children are. Everyone involved with “The Singing Christmas Tree” is a part of something bigger! We found out at the end of the 8 night presentations that 400 people made professions of faith and accepted Christ! That is amazing!
I think of Dade and his commitment to not give up on his dance moves. He and his sister were a component of something special. They had a small part in 400 people accepting Christ. Whether we know it or not, we too have a small part in people accepting Christ every day. When we wake up to spend time with God, when we help someone in need, when we pray when prayer request come in, we are part of the story. We are each a part of the Christmas story. Maybe Dade felt inadequate and out-of-place when he kept bumping into everyone during rehearsals – but that didn’t stop him from keeping his commitment to “The Singing Christmas Tree.” Maybe we too feel inadequate and not worthy. But isn’t it amazing to know every time we keep our commitment to God – we have a part in others knowing the love of Christ.
Dade was hidden away in the back on stage of “The Singing Christmas Tree”, but my husband and I could see him. His Sunday school teacher could see him. God could see him. Maybe you think you’re hidden away. Maybe you think it’s okay to not spend time with God today because you’re too tired, and it won’t matter. Maybe you think someone else will pray when a prayer request comes in. Maybe you think someone else will bring dinner to that family in need. Maybe you think someone else who has more money will give. Maybe you think you don’t matter – but you matter to God. You have a small part in the big picture too! Your commitment to Christ is a daily gospel presentation. Christmas Day is almost here. It’s about the Savior of the world. God sent His Son because God is committed to us – therefore, we too have no choice but to keep our commitment to Him – and share His story with others.
Isaiah 9:6 “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”