Sunday morning, just a few hours after our region’s first major winter storm ended, Friends Meeting at Cambridge decided the show must go on: We would do the Christmas pageant! Because the nasty weather kept most people home—in the wee hours of Sunday morning the snow had turned to sleet and sidewalks and streets were an icy mess—this year’s event relied on the few intrepid souls who’d shown up.
And it was wonderful! This year’s orchestra, for example, was comprised of a violin, a guitar, and a tuba. So when we sang “Silent Night,” you could actually hear the guitar, that “tender and mild” instrument supposedly played the first time that hymn had been performed. Children begged to take on speaking roles did so with elan—as if they’d come to Meeting that morning planning to be all three narrators in one or an angel and Gabriel.
The lovely young mother who’d agreed to be Mary weeks ago (and, indeed, showed up on Sunday with her husband and toddler daughter), married into FMC, so to speak, her husband being quite active, but rarely comes to Meeting, herself. After the pageant, she expressed surprise that after a couple of nonchalant run-throughs this seemingly impromptu performance had been so good!
But that’s exactly what a meeting for worship is, isn’t it? A seemingly random, unorganized, messy, in-the-moment happening that, most of the time, Inshallah, works.