Improvisation can be thought of as an “on the spot” spontaneous activity. It is reacting in the moment and in response to the stimulus of one’s present environment and inner feelings. It’s the practice of acting, dancing, singing, playing a musical instrument, talking, creating artworks, or problem solving. It’s the act or art of improvising.
This past week I was all set for Monday’s class. The lesson was planned. I brought in one of my girl’s dolls from when they were younger, with a lil’ white knitted blanket for our story time. Part of my plan was to have the kids dress up as Mary, Joseph, the Shepherds,Three Kings, and Angels, as I read them the Christmas story. I wanted them to feel a little closer to the true meaning of this special time of the year. Nonetheless, as I walked into the office to borrow the dress up attire, I found out it was in use for the dress rehearsal for the Christmas pageant.
Okay, time to pray and improv. I looked around our classroom for something to dress the kids in. To my eye’s delight, a box with pink tissues, and by the sink, a roll of paper towels. In my bag was some yellow yarn. ‘We are back in business!’ All I can say is what a joy it was to hear the little giggles of our 1st grade class, as I put the pink tissue on Paula’s head and the paper-towels on Jack’s. They looked sooo cute, as they embraced baby Jesus as Mary and Joseph, while Kristen read them the Christmas story. Thanking God for His provision, this made me think about the blessed Mother. How many times did she have to improv?
God said, “I choose you.” Mary was a young girl who one day was visited by an angel who sang the most beautiful, awe-inspiring song. “Greetings, favored woman, the Lord is with you.” ” Unto you. he said; a child will be born.” Mary was engaged to be married to Joseph, a Jewish carpenter, so she was confused and disturbed as she tried to think of what the angel could mean. “Don’t be frightened, Mary,” the angel told her. “For God has decided to bless you. You will become pregnant and have a son, and you are to name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give Him the throne of His ancestor, David, and He will reign over Israel forever. His kingdom will never end. Mary asked the angel, “But how can I have a baby, I am a virgin?” The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the Power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby born to you will be Holy and He will be called the Son of God. “For nothing is impossible with God,” Mary responded. I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to accept whatever He wants. May everything you have said come true. And the angel left.
Now, Mary’s left with much to think about. The angel’s gone, when will this happen? Exactly how will it happen? Does Joseph know, and how will I tell him? My family? Did she wonder what she just agreed too? All I know is, most importantly, she trusted God to provide all she needed, and He did! While she was in the later months of her pregnancy, she had to travel to Bethlehem for the census. There was no limo, so she rode on a donkey. There were no rooms in the inn, so she stayed in a stable. There was no bed for her new-born baby, so she wrapped Him in cloths and placed Him in a manger. I realized, things may not always go as we plan, but improvisation is a way of life. So on those days when it seems as though nothing is going our way, we should look at the Christmas story and be encouraged. For God has a better plan. After all, what would Christmas be like without the manger? Could you imagine a deluxe building with a golden crib and limo outside to take the place of the stable. Could you imagine a first grade class without sweet giggles. How boring would that be!
So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:58
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. ~ Proverbs 3:5-6
May our loving Lord bless you this Christmas and always!