Maria Teresa is one of those special school proprietor who is excellent at what she does and articulates well the “why” of her vocation. Her school, Centro Educativo Mami Luisa, has done a Christmas pageant and dance exhibition since the school was founded in 1998. This year, she opened the ceremonies with the reminder:
“We may paint the house this Christmas season. We might buy new clothes. We will definitely buy gifts. But is that the point? Isn’t the point that God sent his Son to bring grace into our lives? Let’s thank Him tonight.”

She then referenced the banner behind her that read “King of our lives.” As a devout Catholic, she shared that having God be the driver and director of her actions is paramount in her life. Her school is a place that creates space for teachers, staff and students to grow. Her school also invites parents to take part. What is always striking to me about Christmas pageants and other school performances is that parents are showing up for their children. They are putting their love for their children into action by being present to watch them sing and dance (and scream knock into each other adorably).

As I watched the pre-school class act out the words of the angel to Mary saying “do not be afraid,” I was reminded that it is often the children who teach us—as professionals, as parents and as community members—about the message sent to us through Jesus. May their sweet faces be physical reminders of the joy we have in the Little One sent to us through humble parents.

As we gather for Christmas, let us pray for our gathering places–churches, playgrounds, parks, shopping centers. Perhaps a school is another one of those gathering places where we bump elbows, exchange smiles and maybe learn from each other.

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A kindergartener sits on his father’s shoulder to watch his older siblings perform after he’s finished playing his role in the reenactment of the Three Wise Men’s visit to behold the infant Jesus.