A lot of churches will host Christmas events this time of year. Skelly Drive (where I pastor) used to have a Living Nativity that was somewhat groundbreaking in its day and is still remembered fondly by everyone that I’ve ever met that either put it on or attended.
Invariably, these productions, be they musicals or whatever, will begin to journey into the untested waters of live animal participants. Usually, this works well until they bring in the camel.
Camels are some of the most ill tempered animals you can ever be around. I saw one in a musical with a muzzle on to keep him from biting passersby. They stomp on you, lay down when you want them to stand, stand when you want them to lay down and are generally naughty in every way they think will aggravate you.
And they spit. Nasty stinky spit that you might be able to use as masonry compound in a pinch.
Not to mention that they smell horrible. You can’t bathe these guys often, it’s winter and the water is cold. But even if you can, they’ll be curling the nose hairs of your attendees within a few hours. It’s just their nature.
And pray they don’t pass gas during your event, especially if you are insane enough to bring them indoors. They can have your whole cast on the ground before the first wave hits the audience.
So, a little advice to you Christmas event planners out there. If the donkey, the cow and the occasional goose have worked out all right so far, stick with them. There really is no need to “up the ante” here.
Just because there are camels in the Middle East, doesn’t mean you have to have one in your church to make your event “authentic.”
But if you are stubborn and won’t heed my advice, pray this doesn’t happen to you:
I didn’t even notice it the first couple of times I watched it, but did you observe there was some poor woman, serving God the best way she knew how, coaxed up on top of the camel?
You see her bare feet and then, moments later, her head pops up. She looks a little disconcerted, don’t you think?