My little Messiah

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My little Messiah

It’s not often that a mother can say her son is the Messiah. But I can.

OK, OK, Hays is not really the Messiah. There was only one of those. But he did portray Him in a play.

The day of the selection process (I’m not sure there were formal auditions), Hays told me he was nervous. “I really want to be picked to be Jesus,” he said at breakfast. “I prayed I would be.”

God does always answers prayers and this time it was in exactly the way Hays had hoped. He was about to burst when I picked the kiddos up from school. “Mom! I got it! I’m going to be Jesus!” I hardly had time to say “congratulations” before he continued: “Text Dad. Tell him to cut off his beard and save it. I need it to be Jesus.” God was being benevolent toward the Ferriells that day because he kept me from bursting out laughing at that comment.

Every night, Hays eagerly went over his lines. I had to read all the other parts, which was a lot of reading. Jesus’s comments during his Passion were short and to the point. Hays was very excited that he got to wear Father Rob’s microphone/headphone thingy during the play. However, he was a little worried about his friends, James and Drew, dragging him from the cross to the grave because “it hurts under my arms.” He was willing to endure the pain because he then got to sneak out a side door and re-enter the sanctuary, surprising everyone with his “resurrection.”

The big day dawned and the star of the show seemed OK. A tad nervous, but isn’t every performer before taking the stage?

I got nervous when his dad, grandparents and I arrived at church and there was no sign of Hays, or any of the second graders. The third graders (this was a co-production) got into their costumes and we waited. Eventually, the second graders arrived, already dressed and ready to go. I must note that Jesus had resigned himself to the fact that he was without a beard. Darin had declined to have his facial hair star in the production, preferring it remain on his face.

Finally, it was show time!

Hays’ religion teacher and I snapped away, recording the moment for the future. The play went off without a hitch. Nobody messed up their lines, went the wrong way or anything else.

What a great experience for the kids, one that will certainly help reinforce the message of Christ’s passion. My Lenten experience at St. Joseph’s consisted of reciting the stations of the cross every Friday afternoon. There was sometimes incense involved in the worship and you could bet your boots at least one kid would throw up. That was as exciting as it got.

Times have changed at the school, and that’s a good thing. The passion play is just one example of how it’s more dynamic and interactive.

And it goes to show that it’s not the beard that makes the Messiah …

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