Thinking back, I have always been a Christian activist. I never prayed for God to make me like this. I just realized that I was a daughter of the King of the Universe; so stepping out in faith – even in the face of adversity, came very naturally to me.
Was I a bit nervous? Of course! But that feeling would finally dissipate when I realized that the Lord was with me – strengthening me.
Our kids grew up in the 1980’s. Public schools were not as bad as they are now, but they were certainly not welcoming to anything “Christian.” I remember the day that a notice came home from school in November.
The notice said: “Parents – we would like to extend the opportunity for you to come and share the spirit of your holiday.” I immediately discerned that they were not speaking of Christmas. They were opening the way for other religions to speak to the children about their holidays…..like Ramadan.
A thought came to me (I’m certain that this was the Lord) that they could not discriminate against me if I wanted to share what Christmas meant to me and my family. What a perfect opportunity to share the true meaning of Christmas; not Frosty the Snowman or Rudolf the Red Nosed Reign Deer!
I filled out the form and said that I would like to come into school and share my holiday – Christmas – and what it meant to me. The principal and some of the teachers knew that I was pretty outspoken. I had to chuckle when I pictured them opening my form. I could just see the rolling eyes.
The principal called me and asked what I had in mind. I told her that to a true Christian, the holiday was not secular. I told her that we were celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. She asked what I would be doing. I told her that I would be singing some Christmas carols with the children and would talk about the true meaning of Christmas. This lady was not thrilled with me – I didn’t expect her to be – but she did give me a date that was open. I told her that I would be there.
The Christmas presentation
The day arrived for me to come into school. I was a soloist in church, so I had many accompaniment tapes for Christmas songs. I brought a tape for a medley by Sandi Patty. I also brought in our Nativity Set. I did notice a couple of teachers giving me what could be described as “the evil eye” as I set up the Nativity, but I just smiled and let it roll off. I mean how could I explain the true meaning of Christmas without the Nativity with the baby Jesus?
There were about three or four classes assembled. Little faces looking up at me from the floor – I prayed in my head that the Lord would touch these children, and that they would never forget this day. I told the kids that I wanted to explain to them what Christmas meant to a true Christian. I told them that the holiday was about the birth of Jesus Christ, who was our Savior.
I put on the accompaniment tape and sang the medley, telling the kids that if they knew the songs to feel free to sing with me. I again saw a couple of adults shoot me an evil eye. I just smiled……
After the music, I turned to the Nativity scene. I had brought my Bible with me and had planned to read the Christmas story from Luke. I opened the Bible and began to read, when suddenly one of the teachers took the Bible from my hands! She leaned over to whisper to me: “I’m sorry, but our principal says that you cannot read from the Bible in school.”
I turned to the kids and said “Well, I can’t read to you from my Bible, but that’s okay – I know this story by heart. And I began to tell them all about Mary and Joseph and their trip to Bethlehem.
I told them that they had to stay in a stable because there was no room for them at the inn. I told them that an angel appeared to shepherds who were in the fields, and that they were very afraid; but the angel told them not to be afraid; because this night was born to them the Savior of the world – Christ the Lord!
You could have heard a pin drop as I told the children about the host of angels praising God, and how the shepherds had been told where to find the baby Jesus. I said that the shepherds were so excited and said “Let’s go and see this for ourselves.” The eyes of the kids were like silver dollars! It was then that I realized that the Lord had intended for me to tell the story and not read it.
The four little girls
I had brought little candy canes for the children, and as I was handing them out, four girls began to ask questions about Jesus and heaven. I saw the group of teachers along with the principal heading my way, so I quickly told the girls to find Bibles and they could read for themselves all about Jesus. They were so excited!
The children were all taken into their classrooms as I cleaned up and got ready to leave. I felt that this day had been straight from the Lord. I thanked Him and prayed for all of the children. I prayed especially for the four little girls who had been so excited.
God opens doors
When I got home, I realized that God had opened that door for me to have that time with these children. I could have looked at the invitation which had come home, and thought to myself “They would never allow me to do this.” It had to be the Holy Spirit who gave me the idea of writing back and asking if I could share the spirit of my holiday.
I know that the principal and some of the teachers were not thrilled with my presentation. But seeds were planted that day. It was a day I will never forget.