A Cowboy’s Faith: Youth tell real story

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Children’s Christmas programs rightly bring out the true meaning of the season.”

With all of the commercialization towards shopping and buying gifts starting before Halloween, reason for Christmas is often completely forgotten.

Likewise, elaborate decorating seems to have gotten out of hand, for lack of a more appropriate description of all the vast lightings. It sure makes the electrical companies happy undoubtedly.

Through all of this Christmas “hype,” there is NO factual recognition of what Christmas is really all about.

In viewing literally hundreds of community and public Christmas decorating, there has been only one notable exception.

A display with a few strings of lights had a small nativity scene. That’s Christmas, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, savior of the world, life eternal for all believers.

Used to be, a number of churches would have at least some nativity scene.  That’s a simple manger with Christ child, Mary, Joseph, sheep, donkey, shepherds, and wise men.

Sadly, this year, none have been seen as of yet. Live nativities became popular for a time, but have dropped out of fad as well.

Notable, Saint Francis of Assisi is credited with creating the first live nativity scene in 1223 to cultivate the worship of Christ. He was inspired by his visit to the Holy Land seeing Jesus’ birthplace. The idea motivated communities to stage such portrayals.

Although, Christmas programs are still part of the season’s celebrations, most do not have any inclination of the true reasoning. Modern songs often leave a seemingly waning feeling.

Reflecting, grade school pageants of decades gone by never reflected the true celebration either. Yet, singing brought swinging joy to performers and audience with nostalgic appreciation and familiarity.

Fortunately, a few churches, hopefully more than realized, still host children’s Christmas plays highlighting Jesus’ birth and purpose.

Six decades ago, it was a special heartfelt inspiration portraying a shepherd, wearing night robe, turban and carrying a cane.

This year’s church children’s Christmas program was one of the simplest yet perhaps most meaningful ever.

A four-fold cardboard placed in front of the altar represented a barn with a straw-bedded manger and baby Jesus.

Students were happy portrayers as the most important history was recounted followed by congregational singing of familiar traditional hymns.

Reminded of Luke 18: 17: “These children are the kingdom’s pride and joy.”


030615-franksmug2Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.


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