Please join us over the next several weeks as we journey through this Advent season. We will be hearing from many of our City Church staff as well as members of the congregation as we all ponder the mysteries of this season. Today’s contribution comes from City Church member, Jennifer Whitehurst.
It is exciting to see our children excel in their gifting and interests. Our family has had the blessing of daughters who love ballet, and at Christmas, that means The Nutcracker. For about 20 years we have supported and cheered them through the tiniest of roles to the coveted Clara to being a guest artist. It was not without a lot of discipline and bloody feet. If you have seen Tchaikovsky's masterpiece then you will remember the music, the backdrop, the lively characters that come to life in a child's dream, the costumes, the beautiful dancing. Of course there is all of the backstage drama as well (choreography, make-up, quick changes, and all the people that are so important to the success of the show) that the audience will never see. I am always amazed how each role is a small part in what comes together as a big, impressive production.
On the stage today, we all are characters and performers racing through the production we call life. You may be a student, a musician, a teacher, a doctor, a mom. God has invited each of us to join in His 'company' in a very important role. His grand production is seen throughout history starting with creation and continuing throughout the Biblical narrative. The drama has always been pointing humanity to Jesus. Each scene prepares us to receive our King. However, until that silent night in Bethlehem, the main character, the expected Messiah, was only a promise and a future hope. In the fullness of time, the stage was set and all the characters were in place. God, in His infinite love and grace, sent His only Son to our earthly stage to be our rescuer and redeemer. In this most dramatic of scenes, Jesus' birth was announced with an angelic symphony and a brilliant star shining on a tiny baby in a stable, but humanity missed it. The audience had their eyes on a different stage where they thought the action would take place. They had no idea that Jesus would enter the chaos through the mundane rather than through a palace. But nevertheless, the star was born, and our narrative will forever be changed.
Our lives, just as in the Nutcracker, are primarily 'off stage.' The time spent during the months of rehearsing before the curtain call far surpass the event itself. What if we, just as the characters during the birth of our Savior, have missed the main event? What if the behind the scenes hard work (the studying, the preparing, the praying, the praising, the patience, the wrestling, the sacrificing, the counseling, the memorizing, the loving the hard to love, the faithfulness when circumstances are grim, etc.) is far more important than the trivial things that we think are so dramatically important? When Jesus is the focus of our activities and our script, He fulfills our dreams far greater than any Nutcracker that comes to life.
During this Advent season, instead of trying to be the 'star' or control the 'star' don't miss the real Star.
Look to Jesus Christ. Super Star.