I don’t normally watch “the House of Payne.” It isn’t something that crosses my radar and when I see it in the guide, I never think to stop and watch. In fact, I never just flip through the channels, I look at the guide on our dish and chose my television shows accordingly.
But this particular episode caught my eye. It was the House of Payne retelling of the Christmas Story – and this I HAD to see.
What I thought was really interesting is that the whole family was gathered around the living room and were trying to tell the Christmas story to the youngest girl. And as the story began to be told, each person was transported to Israel and took on various characters in the story. One was the innkeeper, there was Mary and Jospeh, and shepherds and wise men. And as one person finished telling the story, the next would jump in and say… that’s not what happened and they would retell the story from the perspective of their character.
Now, some of these accounts were more humerous than anything… in one Joseph was ready to karate chop the innkeeper for not letting them have a place to sleep… but there is something to the idea that each person who witnesses the birth of Christ has a story to tell. Our own accounts of Christmas are more myth than fact – we often have the shepherds and the wise men all showing up at the same time, when there probably would have been at least a year between their visits.
When it comes down to it, the Christmas story is something that we are invited to live in and experience for ourselves. And whether we feel like shepherds who are outcast and dirty and smelly and we get to come to the manger and witness the miracle… or if we feel more like the privledged who humble ourselves before the manger… we are all invited to come and we all have a story to tell.
There is a really neat moment in the episode where the matriarch of the family (I wish I knew it well enough to know her name) really puts everyone in their place and reminds them that this story isn’t something to be made fun of… because we are talking about one of the most important events in human history – this is the birth of our Savior…. if you head over to tbs you can watch the full episode – I think it’s worth it!