"Our Answer is God. God's answer is us. Through partnership we make our world better." - Dorian Scott Cole
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The Watering Hole - Conversations on 21st. Century religion.

Why is there Christmas?


Adult and children story or play on why there is Christmas.

Why, Daddy, Why?

"Why, why, why?" Little Cindy Whoknew always asked at the most inconvenient of times, like when Daddy had the entire upper half of his body in the cabinet underneath the kitchen sink, with water dribbling down in his eyes, while trying to get a wrench on something neither hand could reach.

Daddy blew water from around his mouth, gave one last contortion, got the wrench on the nut, closed his eyes against the endless water, and turned the wrench. It slipped off. Exhausted from effort, in exasperation, he wiggled and contorted his way out from under the sink, and then shoved a towel under to catch the water. "What, sweetheart," he asked, with all of the patience he could muster, but fully aware it fell far short.

"Please, Daddy, tell me. Why is there Christmas?"

Daddy sighed, then put down the wrench to rest for a few moments. He leaned back against the cabinets and pulled Cindy onto his lap.

"A long, long time ego," he began, "When people had almost nothing to look forward to except a difficult life, a very special person was born." We don't know when, exactly, but we chose a date to celebrate, that means new beginnings."

"But why were people so miserbal, Daddy?"

"Because they had no hope. It was taken from them by very powerful people."

"Why? Why are people so mean?"

"Well, the Romans wanted them to live like them, and they did stop nations from killing each other and bandits from robbing. But many wanted to live like they wanted to live, so they tried to kill the Romans all the time. Anger and war and killing helped make everyone miserable.

"Was everyone mean people?"

"Some people believed that if you just followed enough rules, then God would accept you and be nice to you. They thought it didn't matter if rules made life hard for people. They followed their rules and boasted that God loved only them.

"Why didn't someone stop bad people, Daddy?"

"Well, Cindy. The religious leaders felt much the same way as the mean people. They were mostly interested in having lots of power and money. They felt that if people weren't perfect, then they should either give them lots of money they didn't have, or just be miserable."

"Johnny Nono said that if I don't believe exactly what he believes, I'm going to burn in Hell."

Daddy gasped. "No, honey, you're a wonderful little girl, and Johnny is just like those mean people long, long ago."

"Why, Daddy, why?"

"People get confused. In this long, long ago time, there was born a man, Jesus. He didn't tell anyone he was special, he just called himself 'a son of man.' He said to the people, there is good news. I want everyone to know that God knows you can't be perfect, and when you aren't, this shouldn't become a heavy load that makes you tired and weak. You don't have to spend money for God to forgive you. All you have to do is ask Him. And then try to do better. Have you been better about hitting your brother?"

"Yes, Daddy, except he keeps putting his frog down my shirt, and hiding my doll."

Daddy smiled and poked her in the tummy with his finger, tickling her. "God will get him, you wait and see," Daddy said.

"Will God be mean to him?" Cindy asked in alarm.

"No. God isn't mean. But one day, he will find out what it is like to have mean things done to him. It happens to everyone."

"So, I don't have to be perfect?"

Daddy gave her a big hug. "We both know you're a stinker." Cindy smiled mischievously. "But you can try."

Cindy shook her head. "That's no fun. I want to put snakes down my brother's shirt. He's afraid of snakes, but I'm not. And I want to make him play with dolls, too."

"Good luck with that." Daddy just shook his head in disbelief.

"It's OK if I put snakes down my brother's shirt, isn't it? God won't make be burn up, will he?"

"No, but it's not OK. God isn't about burning people up. Jesus told people that when they hate people and do bad things, it's like they burn themselves. God is about love. What Jesus told people is that we should love each other."

"Love? I don't want to kiss my brother. He's yucky and he hates me because... because... I don't know why, he just does. Why should I be nice to him?"

"It's most important how we treat each other. It makes everything much better. Jesus showed people how to love each other. He made the sick well again. He helped people forgive each other. The people loved him. So now we help each other. We forgive each other. We count on each other when times are tough. So when everyone stops hating each other and being selfish, and start loving, everything about our life gets better. In fact, the people said about Jesus, 'this 'Son of Man' is like God. We know what he says is true. He is actually the Son of God.' People knew that what he said was very true and very important, so they turned the world upside down changing their ways and telling others."

"I don't think that will work with my brother. When I give him my candy to lick, he runs away with it."

"It works. If you want your brother to stop doing bad things to you, then do nice things for him."

"Will he do nice things for me?"

"Uh, no. He hasn't grown up enough yet."

"Then why should I be nice to him now? Why, Daddy, why?"

"To learn to love, and not make enemies, even when people are difficult. Life isn't always... nice. Many difficult things and difficult people will come your way. They come to everyone. That will show you that you aren't perfect. And then you will try again to be better. It's called life experience."

"But I don't want to be nice to my brother. I hate him!" Daddy gave her a disapproving look. "He's mean, but not always... I don't really want anything too terrible to happen to him."

"If you hate him, one day he will hate you, and always do mean things to you. If you love him, one day he will love you and do good things for you."

"This is hard, Daddy!" She pulled away. "Please don't make me be nice to my brother."

"Hate is harder. Hate makes you burn inside like fire." She looked very sad. Daddy smiled at her and gave her a big, long hug. "I love you. And God loves you, too. God is love. God isn't mean to people either."

- Dorian

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