In September, we started planning a field trip to Sight and Sound Theatres in Lancaster, Pa., to see “The Miracle of Christmas.”
Looking for something to do this weekend? Find what you need in our Weekend Entertainment Guide newsletter.
I looked forward to watching my students respond to the production, to seeing their reactions to the talented singers, expressive actors, beautifully designed sets and live animals. I wanted the students to see the Christmas story portrayed on a grand scale. There’s nothing like an effective theatrical production to make a story come alive.
Of course, the students were looking forward to all of that. They were also looking forward to a day out of school.
As the day neared, the students talked about where we would stop for lunch. After traveling for two hours on a bus, there will be need for nourishment before the show.
The students also discussed the concession stand. Would there be an intermission? Would they be able to buy food then, too?
Such is life with teenagers. As long as they are fed well, any experience can be good.
This day was no exception. The show was fantastic, and, yes, there was food.
When we returned to school, I asked the students to respond to this question: “Which character did you relate to and why did you relate to that character?”
What they wrote warmed my heart, so I asked if I could share their insights with you.
Here are my students’ thoughts on ...
“I feel like I can relate the most to Joseph. While I’m not a guy, I can relate to him because he had a hard time believing Mary. It’s hard not to judge people.”
“I believe I related most to Mary. I felt very bad for her because Joseph had not believed her when she told him she was pregnant with the Messiah. Joseph was about to become her husband and he doubted her loyalty to him and suspected her of being with someone else.”
That would be painful.
... the shepherds
“I identified with the shepherds. They were so happy when they realized that the angels were there to tell them, the lowly shepherds, about the news of the king. God found favor with the least of the Jewish culture. I love the way that shows God’s love.”
Imagine a world where everyone — even the poor and the outcast — would be treated with respect.
For the shepherds “to believe that someone so exalted could be found in the lowliest of places takes great faith.”
...Zachariah (the father of John the Baptist)
“I related most with Zachariah. When an angel came and said his wife and he would have a child in their old age, he doubted this blessing. Sometimes in my own life I doubt things that I hear or decisions that I have made.”
Don’t we all?
... the Jewish Zealots
“I think I can identify a little with the Jewish Zealots. I can understand their resentment towards Rome’s oppressive rule. Today in America we are not serfs forced to labor in the fields or factories, nor are we abused by those charged with protecting us and keeping order. But our current administration is filled with people who only care for their own personal gain, and their dream of a new world order.”
From time to time, we all feel resentment toward the government.
... the Roman soldiers
“I don’t like being mean to people; I try to make friends. I also like to help people in need.”
What an interesting response, eh? Would that we all replace meanness with kindness this Christmas season.
Lisa Tedrick Prejean writes a weekly column for The Herald-Mail’s Family page. Send e-mail to her at email@example.com.