Monday, December 13, 2010

We Lost Jesus—den Boer

Every December I’m one of several like-minded people who volunteer to decorate our church. We are ordinary run-of-the-mill, get-it-done, Christmas decorators. We assemble tree, tinsel and garlands according to the patterns and traditions of yesteryear.

The Sunday evening before our scheduled church decorating, I attended a church already decked out for Christmas. In discussion after the service, a church friend noted the taste and style, for instance, how the Christmas decorations at the front of that church didn’t interfere with the musical paraphernalia on the stage. I took this as a challenge.

On Monday morning, the day of our church decorating, I purposed to create something new and beautiful—with no idea how to do this.

At the church, a fellow church decorator and I found the stepladder and brought the tree down from the platform above the back storage room. Up on that platform, I found a red felt banner complete with golden dowels. How Christmas is that? The banner read, “Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life” in white and gold. I handed the banner down to Lynn. But, how to hang it? This was one Looonnnng banner. If I stood on the top rung of our stepladder with Lynn balanced on my shoulders we just might be able to reach high enough. Lynn is quite tall.

We laid the banner out on the stage. I quietly hoped for inspiration.

Next, I took my energy, initiative and creative ability into the crawlspace under the stage where the decorations of Christmas’ past are stored. I examined every box and bag. I pulled out new and old alike. We dragged all these things into the foyer. A pile of brownery crumbled out of one of the older bags. We would vacuum that later.

The tree came first. Our church’s artificial tree looks very real. It stands about ten feet tall. It has to be tied to the coat racks or it will fall down. We know this from experience. We set the tree in the same old corner where the coat rack could hold it up and where it wouldn’t gather attention unduly. After all, a Christmas tree is heathen in origin.

Decorating the tree took longer than expected. First we tested the numerous strings of white and coloured lights. Three strings of coloured lights glowed brightly. Once these were on the tree, the top string stopped glowing. Lynn solved this with a trip to the local hardware store.

By lunch three decorators had the tree half decorated and two of the seven windows in the sanctuary garlanded.

After lunch our crew expanded to five and we finished the tree and the windows and spruced up the foyer.

Time to go home and we hadn’t set up the nativity scene yet. We had the stable, but where were the wise men, the shepherds, Joseph, Mary and Jesus? Where was Jesus?

Marian den Boer is the author of Blooming, This Pilgrim's Progress.


Peter Black said...

Marian, your account of you intrepid determination to make a real job of this church Christmas decoration task, is really funny and engaging; and you make the inspirational point at the end so beautifully. It sort of sneaks up ...!

Marian said...

Thanks Peter, It took me a while to get it right and then I was still uncertain if I'd accomplished what I set out to do which was to give an account of my intrepid determination to make a real job of this church Christmas decoration task, in a humorous, engaging way. Thanks so much for the confirmation.

Popular Posts