By Stephen E. Lipken
Over 1,000 citizens from Bronxville and outlying communities beheld the 104th Annual Bronxville Christmas Eve Pageant at the Reformed Church of Bronxville, beginning with a Children and Family Service, culminating with re-enactment of the Nativity on the church lawn with participants from the community and live animals.
Readings were rendered by the Reverends John M. Barrett, West Center Church; Michael A. Bird, Christ Church; Lamont S. Granby, First Baptist Church; Rev. Dr. Robert Hartwell, Village Lutheran Church; Father Peter McGeory, St. Joseph’s; Bishop Derek G. Owens, Golden Sword; Reformed Church of Bronxville Associate Minister Cari Pattison and RCB Reverend Dr. Matthew Waterstone.
Leading a Christmas Carol sing-a-long, Dale Walker celebrated her 25th year, accompanied by Bronxville Pops Concert Band members.
At the Children and Family Service, Reverend Pattison welcomed the community, introducing children’s choirs and pupils rendering Gospel readings. A brief Candlelight Service followed, along with communal singing of familiar Christmas Carols.
Waterstone discussed the meaning of “glory,” saying that it originated from the Biblical doxa, meaning majesty, splendor, adoration. “But that word glory and the angels singing about glory somehow makes me envision this glorious birth. Clean. Neat. Perfect. Glorious.
“The reality is that nothing could be further from the truth. It was a giant divinely ordained mess. We all come tonight with different fears, concerns, struggles…
“The word doxa can also mean ‘brightness.’ Do you remember how shepherds were able to find their way to Bethlehem?
“One of my favorite Christmas movies is Home Alone. Do you remember the hilarious line when Marv says ‘Kids are scared of the dark’? And Harry rolls his eyes and replies, ‘You’re scared of the dark too, Marv.’
“We all have a little Marv in us. We’re all a little scared of the dark. The dark of declining health. The dark of an uncertain future. The dark of guilt, or shame or fear. The dark strained relationships … and if you are anything like me, you’re still scared of the dark. My friends, tonight reminds us once again that Jesus came into the world to shine the brightest light into all those places of darkness.”