Today we look at the roles the POstables played in the Christmas pageant, and how each one was a more perfect fit than we realize. It will have you watching this film from a whole different perspective.
The Virgin Mary
Pure of both heart and spirit, Rita was the perfect fit to play Mary, mother of Jesus. Looking at Rita from this perspective, her declaration of, "anything seems possible" at Christmas very much reminded me of Mary's response to Gabriel the angel in Luke 1:38, "I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done unto me according to your word." It took faith in the miraculous, the belief in "anything [being] possible" to receive this divine gift.
Besides, who else could play alongside Norman's Joseph but Rita?
One of the definitions of Shane’s name is “gift from God.” By definition an angel is, “...a person who performs a mission of God or acts as if sent by God.” Through her interactions with Jordan (a real angel), Shane is gently prepared to assume her celestial role in the pageant, and Jordan only deems Shane “ready” once she openly reveals where “[her] joy went.” Notice it is right after this brief scene that Shane sees her wings and halo for the first time as she leaves the DLO to rehearse with Hannah. In full costume, and after “[receiving the] answer” to her letter, the first thing Oliver asks of Shane is if “[she’s] ready to be an angel.” She does so, halo and all---even considering packing it for vacation as if unready to let go of the role---or the evening---just yet.
The other definition of Shane's name is "God is gracious," which encompasses an element of compassion. Dressed as an angel, Shane exhibits deep love and compassion for Hannah as the little girl reveals her fears of being in the pageant without her mommy. Shane delivers a message of love and comfort, like a "messenger of God," another angelic attribute.
These key connections prove that Shane was practically born to play the angel.
The Fourth Wise Man/ Narrator
After listening to Jordan’s story, it is clear Oliver embodied the legendary fourth wise man through his deeds, "helping a lost [former Sunday school teacher]," and stopping to help "another man along the road," by manning "Santa's" post while he bought earrings for his wife. Like the fourth wise man, Oliver was always one step behind the ultimate objective of delivering that last letter, only to find out the person to whom it needed delivered was right in front of him the whole time, made “invisible” until each he and Shane were ready to fulfill their other, non-pageant related, roles in a new Christmas story.
Nothing is by accident or chance on this show---we know this. But seeing this perspective took it to a whole new level for me. How about you?