This is the second year that we have read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever out loud and I just love it. I love that I can hardly read a page without laughing and I love that every few pages Bubba is sent into giggles as well. I love that it is written from the perspective of a very honest child. I love the Herdmans – everything about the Herdmans.
I think my kids like reading the book too. I would finish reading three chapters and Bubba would say, “Keep reading!” while KB chimed in with, “That wasn’t very much!” Little has a hard time keeping up with us but she stays in the room and every now and then interrupts to say things like, “Did she punch that shepherd in the eye?” (So, I know she is listening.)
The only thing I know they don’t like about reading this book is that it makes me cry. I cried last year and I cried this year. I warned them. I knew it was coming. I just couldn’t stop myself.
I don’t want to ruin it for you if you haven’t read the book. I’ll try to keep it vague. The bottom line is that this little family hears about Jesus for the first time and their response is so honest and raw that it would move even the toughest bloke to tears. This story we spout off year after year . . . the Herdmans cause the reader to pause and see it through fresh eyes and it is nothing short of beautiful.
Josh Wilson accomplishes a similar feat in his song, “Jesus is Alive”. I am pretty sure I wrote about it last year but I can’t help but write again this year. I love this song. I love that it makes me want to lift my hands and worship. I love that I can’t finish a line without my heart going, “huh”. It makes me cry. It made me cry last year and it makes me cry now. It takes the story of Jesus’ birth and uses words that are honest, fresh, and nothing short of beautiful. Words like. . .
“When you turned a stable into Holy ground.”
“So go, and tell, the world that death has died. ‘Cause Jesus is Alive!”
“This Savior in a manger changes everything.”
“This baby boy is making all sad things untrue.”
I’m crying again. So powerful to consider looking in the manger at that wee baby boy and knowing the Truth that He is the answer to all life’s woes. Death’s sting will be no more. It is powerful, right? He’s the Savior in a manger and nothing will ever be the same. I can hardly stand it.
So go to your computer and order a copy of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Josh Wilson’s Christmas cd, “Noel”, and a box of Kleenex. Then get ready to see Jesus in a new way and to WORSHIP.