Last night our family watched The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. It was a made for TV movie that came out in 1983 based upon the book by Barbara Robinson. It is a book and movie with an incredible message. It doesn’t matter if you grew up in church or are far from it… Jesus came for EVERYONE!
Here’s the book description from Amazon. By the way, the movie is very close and does not deviate far from the book.
The Herdmans are the worst kids in the history of the world. They lie, steal, smoke cigars, swear, and hit little kids. So no one is prepared when this outlaw family invades church one Sunday and decides to take over the annual Christmas pageant.
None of the Herdmans has ever heard the Christmas story before. Their interpretation of the tale — the Wise Men are a bunch of dirty spies and Herod needs a good beating — has a lot of people up in arms. But it will make this year’s pageant the most unusual anyone has seen and, just possibly, the best one ever.
There are some great one liners in the book and the movie that make me laugh out loud. One particular one I like is when one of the Herdman girls ask what the pageant is gonna be called. The answer she is given is “The Christmas Pageant.” That doesn’t sit well with her. She suggests it be called “Revenge at Bethlehem.”
However, another one that gained a chuckle is when Imogene Herdman (who plays the role of the virgin Mary in the pageant) takes the baby doll which represents Jesus and in the middle of the performance, proceeds to burp the baby.
Alice, the girl who would have played the role of Mary before Imogene stepped in, sticks her nose up and whispers “I don’t think it’s very nice to burp the baby Jesus, as if he had colic.”
In the end, the Pageant ends with everyone thinking that it was the best ever. The Herdmans seem to understand the importance of the story more than any of the “churched” folks.
That all being said, in all of the nativities and performances and silent night renditions… we don’t think of Jesus as being a normal baby who cries and eats and burps and poops. Did Mary have to move to the back of the cave behind a curtain when she needed to nurse Jesus. Wouldn’t want the shepherds or angels to see that 🙂
No. Jesus was just like any baby. He came like one of us and lived like us. Experienced the same things we experienced.
And, yes, Jesus probably had to be burped.
Here’s a full version of the movie on YouTube. Watch it if you haven’t ever seen it.