Monday, November 15, 2010

As Long as You're in the Neighborhood Anyway...

First an invitation, and then a little story. Follow the Star is a live nativity, and if you are here in the Orange County, California area the first weekend in December, it really is not to be missed. This will be the 13th year that the production will go on. I can describe Follow the Star... live animals (courtesy of some very dear friends of mine that own a nearby ranch), live actors, and very short and sweet. I didn’t attend Follow the Star for the first few years it was playing, mostly because it happens right after Sing Noel, which is a musical production I always seem to find myself playing for. The first time I went, I wasn’t sure quite what to expect. It was threatening rain that night, and as I wiped a few stray raindrops off my chair and sat down, the lights went down, and then slowly came back up... this part defies description... it was just so beautiful and full of the spirit that it seemed like it was over too quickly, and I ended up watching the next two shows as well.

Seven years ago, when my youngest son was a baby of about five months, they asked me if he could play the baby Jesus on one of the nights. I dressed him in a simple soft white outfit, and the mother who played Mary swaddled him for the show. There was another baby waiting in the wings, but because it was sprinkling outside a little bit, his mother wouldn’t let him outside. It was actually super funny, because the mother of the other baby came up to me and said, “It is raining outside. You’re not going to let him go out there, are you?” I said, “Sure, I know they will keep him safe and dry.” She kind of sniffed at me and said, “Is he your sixth child?” “Seventh, actually,” I replied. “Well, that explains it,” she said. “This is our first, and we are very careful with him.” I actually laughed a little. I wanted to say, “You’re absolutely right. We don’t even put ours in a car seat. We just strap him up on top of the car with some bungee cords.” Haha! Good times.

So that night he got to be the baby Jesus about six times. He never cried, although sometimes the baby does cry, and it doesn’t detract at all from the presentation. At one point during the first show, Mary had the baby Jesus (my baby Jesus) all swaddled, and one of his hands came free, and he waved his little arm in the air. I heard a little girl in the row ahead of me catch her breath, and say, “Oh, look! The baby Jesus is real!” She was so right: the baby Jesus was real, and he grew to be the Savior of all the world. I love him! That is why I write the songs that I do. That night I felt a moment of awe and wonder, and it happens each year just the same. If you have a chance to attend, don’t let it pass you by.

December 3-5, 6:00-9:30 p.m. each night
At The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints - Altisma Building
29441 Altisma Road
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful! What a wonderful experience. Thanks for sharing it.