When I was young, I was very confused about the role my great-grandfather, Grandpa Virgil, played in the Nativity Story.
I would go up to my grandmother’s nativity set, which I adored, and point out the main cast: “there’s Mother Mary, there’s Baby Jesus, and there’s Grandpa Virgil,” pointing to a tall shepherd (teen) with red hair; Grandpa Virgil had been a redhead.
Finally, when they heard me singing “Silent Night,” they discovered I was singing, “round young Virgil, Mother and Child.”
It made perfect sense to me but the adults had to connect all the dots.
Now, there was also one of the magi or kings who carried a bag of green pebbles. To me, at age four, they looked like the “heavenly peas” also mentioned at the end of “Silent Night.”
I could not imagine why the newborn would sleep in a bag of peas but I was still trying to figure out why Grandpa Virgil was so popular with Mother Mary and Baby Jesus.