So many of you have heard me tell this Christmas story that I hesitate repeating it here now, but hey, just humor me. I am the mom. I think it’s pretty cute, and I bet you will too.
So years ago at Christmastime when Drew was 4 and Ivy only 3, our family had been reading Luke 1-2 quite a bit in an effort to keep our focus on the birth of Christ. And as kids are so good at memorizing Scripture, parts of the story really began to stick . . . at least for some.
As I listened from the far side of the basement, Drew entered the other half, the playroom, and announced, “Ivy, I have a great idea. Let’s play Baby Jesus. I’ll be the angel and I say to you, ‘Mary, you have found favor with God.’ Then you say, ‘How can this be since I am a virgin’.”
At this stage in her young life Ivy is game for basically anything big brother comes up with, so Drew exits the playroom, makes his grand re-entrance with his favorite blanky tied around his neck as angel wings, steps up on a stool facing his sister and loudly proclaims, “Mary, you have found favor with God.” To which Ivy immediately replies, “How can this be since I am allergic.”
Now Drew has no idea what the word virgin means. All he knows is that Ivy got her line wrong and he’s not happy about it! Shaking his head he says, “No, no, no. That’s not it. I say, ‘Mary, you have found favor with God,’ and you say, ‘How can this be since I am a virgin?'” Back out Drew goes, grand re-entrance, up on the stool and line: “Mary, you have found favor with God.” Ivy, once again, right on que: “How can this be since I am allergic.”
Now Drew has really lost all patience. He’s ripping off the angel wings, climbing off the stool, highly frustrated with Ivy, “Oh just forget it,” he says, “You can be a sheep!”
You know, Drew had it right. Ivy got the line wrong. Still, I think without even realizing it, she was on to something. It’s easy to become allergic to life during this hectic, holiday season. Filled with so much stuff, special Church services, parties and gatherings, decorations, cards, lists, shopping, presents, guests, family pictures, feasts and on an on, that we shut out the sweet simplicity of the Babe in a manger. We wear ourselves out and miss the wonder for yet another year. Since God has our family in a place of being very still, this Christmas is looking far different, far better and far less allergic.
The Sauder family wishes you a blessed Christmas celebration free from hurry, worry and any and all allergic reactions! Praying you slow down and ponder, “How can this be?”