A Call to Central Casting

by DanWolgemuth on December 10, 2021

It’s become a tradition. Grandkids. Christmas Eve. Full stomachs. And a creative adaptation of the Christmas story.

All written, directed, and acted by our tribe of young people that we call our Grands.

Three years ago, with the quality and humor and content of the program consistently improving, a new actor burst on the scene. Mack Horst at 2 months old was the perfect representation of Jesus.

Then, in 2019, Mack, still the youngest of our crew, played the baby in a manger. Certainly less manageable, but effective none the less.

Then 2020, and a few adjustments to the script, but Mack still doing his thing. Likely additional compensation… manifested in the quality and quantity of snacks. But again, Mack to the rescue.

Now, 2021. Mack is anything but a baby. And his spirited personality makes playing a baby a nonstarter. Even the incarnate Christ.

So, pick up the red phone. A call to Central Casting. A plea for help.

The question at hand… “Who will be Jesus in 2021?”

A static artificial baby doll will not suffice. We need authenticity. We need flesh and blood.

And so the question hangs in the air like an immovable fog. “Who will be Jesus?”

Who will bring joy and hope and love and warmth and tenderness?

My phone rings. Central Casting.

A search for an eligible infant is dismissed. “Will you be Jesus?”


Sixty-six years old. Hardly the stuff of a manger with cattle lowing. Cast me as a gray-bearded Magi… but that’s not the request.

The mystery of the incarnation is that now… even in 2021, especially 2021… Christ in me, the hope of glory.

Mack is out. For now.

And the question looms. An open invitation. To be Jesus.

Unselfish love. Unimaginable humility. Sacrificial presence. Hope with skin.

Me. You.

As a follower of Jesus, I shouldn’t just preach grace… I should live it. In the flesh. When it’s convenient and when it’s not. Costly love. Uncomfortable and demanding. Others first. And not just my tribe… but strangers. Others. Allies and enemies. Neighbors and next of kin. Emptying myself so others can be full.

Unfettered generosity.

Central Casting on the line…

“Will you be Jesus in 2021?”

And into 2022?

A weary world is waiting.  

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