Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Christmas Pageant, with live camels!

We went to the Christmas Pageant at our church, the Maadi Community Church, last night.  Christmas events are held quite early here because a lot of the expatriot community flies home to their home country over the holidays.  Even schools get out very early here.  Cameron's last day of school before the three week break is this Thursday.

We really enjoyed the Christmas Pageant.  The chorus was good, the acting was very humorous in parts, the live animals (camels, sheep and a donkey) were a real treat.  The pageant is so popular that the church does two shows and sells tickets, 10 pounds a person (about $1.75).  We got our tickets weeks in advance because we'd heard it would sell out.  We got three extra tickets too and invited our neighbors who have an apartment below ours.  The mother, who is from Australia, came with her two kids (one of whom is a little girl just Cameron's age).

Here are some photos of the pageant.
Mary and Joseph with the baby
The choir of angels with angel Gabriel.
When Gabriel was asked how God would let her know that the baby was born,
she said, he's got me on speed dial of course!

The shepards celebrating after hearing from the angels about the baby who will be born.
The wise men entering on their camels.
  Each of the wise men on the camel had a person guiding the camels.  I think they're taking extra safety measures because I heard one year, when the camels stood up, one of the wisemen flipped over the front landing on the ground (... a long way to fall... those camels are pretty tall!).

The final scene.
The sermons in church for the last couple Fridays (... church here is Friday night at 5pm for us) has been on the Wise Men.  The minister does a lot of research so his sermons are very educational.  He talked about how the wise men were astronomers who knew not only about stars but also about the prophesy that there would be a star over Judea.  He talked about what must have been going through the wise men's minds when they decided that the stars were demonstrating what the prophesy said and so they decided to give up their lives for several months, and spend a lot of money and time travelling across deserts on camels to follow this bright star.  Because of the enormity of such an expedition and because they were carrying valuables (e.g., gold), they likely had a caravan of helpers making the trek with them.   Assuming this is historically accurate, it really is pretty amazing that they did that.

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