Pride is one of those things that confuses me. Biblically it sounds like a bad thing and I can see why if your pride is about yourself to the extent that you seem full of it.
But sometimes I am so filled with pride for my kids, my churches, or my friends that I just want to explode with joy. And I don’t think that feeling pride by seeing God at work in others is a bad thing.
So last week at one of my churches (The Well) we hosted a Night in Bethlehem for the community. We transformed our worship space into a first century market. Families were able to taste, touch, smell, and hear what it was like to live during that time. We had llamas walking through the sanctuary. Hay ALL OVER the floor. Items from a Jewish temple. An apothecary complete with frankincense and myrrh. And at the very end we told the story of the nativity in a beautiful way. I was proud at all the hard work that our people put into it and excited to see the Bible come to life for some people for the first time.
My oldest son came with me to help. He’s 10 and has recently become interested in coming to the church with me “anytime its open mom”. My scheduled apothecary helper was ill so I told him he could help me. As we begin, he tells me that he can only help me a little bit because he’s supposed to be a shepherd.
As we finish up with our markets and the nativity is starting and I look around for John. I think that he’s probably off playing with someone and I think that its too bad he’ll miss this live nativity. Then I see a bright light shining near the stage and there’s John dressed as a shepherd. I think “Oh that’s what he meant by being a shepherd!”
As exciting as it is for someone to see the nativity come to life, I’ve seen it before. I’ve read the book. I know the story. But this year it came back to life for me. I was able to think of a shepherd boy’s mom and how proud she might have been to know that her son was one of the first to see baby Jesus and wish him blessings in his life on earth.
I was a proud mama that night and I still am. Not just because I got to see my son on stage, but because I’ve been able to give him teachable moments about God. I’m able to serve at churches that help others experience the Christmas story in creative and powerful ways.
I hope you can feel pride as you see God in others.
Until Everyone Hears,
Rev. Shannon Karafanda