Tuesday, December 12, 2006
"Freezing for Jesus" or Our outdoor Living Nativity
Sunday and Monday we had our living Nativity display for the community. Sunday was colder than last night, but it was cold enough. We now all have colds. We were "freezing for Jesus."
The youth were our actors and actresses. The Director gave them directions before we went out. She told them that this was a gift to the community, and that this was the only Christmas some of them would see. She told about being at the community Christmas Parades, and that their had been only one float with a Christian them, so we were showing them Jesus tonight. They did a great job. Although they kept disappearing behind the stable between cars. And last night Mary and Joseph were getting a little too cozy, and we had to separate them and keep reminding them to quit it. But they really shined when the cars came through. People even donated money, even though there was no charge, and we were giving them a gift. We are going to give the money to the youth for their mission trip they are working toward.
Before they had more scenes, but the director decided to cut it down this year, and I think it was just fine. But when she described the other scenes, I thought wow what a production! Several years ago, the former pastor wasn't going to do anything for Christmas and she found a book that had all the directions for putting on a living Nativity. Everybody was involved one way or another. I had people stop and ask me when we were going to do it. This year though many of our people being older just were not going to be able to do the cold. But they sent hot chocolate, cookies and came by to see it. We even had people bring their pets.
She, I, the Youth Minister, and the other adults were talking about the future of it for this church. And we came up with the idea of a one day interactive nativity scene. She walked around and began to put the ideas of it together. I had been asking how we can make it hospitable to the community, and so we are going to have a tent with hot chocolate and cookies and smores next time. I then said but we are not going to have Santa Claus are we? And she said no, but we can still come up with some kid friendly things. (At Calloway Gardens they have a big tent area with Santa Claus, food, gifts you can buy and other kid friendly things going on. I could just see that in my mind when she said tent. I am glad its not going to be that way, but they we are going to be even more hospitable to the community.)
Last night as I walked over to the church, the luminaries were lit up, the stars were in the sky, and there was the stable scene waiting for the youth to be once again the young Mary and Joseph. And we pray that for those who came by that they experienced Jesus in our living Nativity. In thinking about it, God has called all of us to be a "Living Nativity" for the world that they may once again expereince God's gift of love and mercy for their lives. I have heard that we are the only bible that some people read. Well perhaps we are the living nativity displaying the joy of salvation that people see. That makes me think what a simple action on our part it takes to show others the gift Jesus is for each one of them.
I don't have pictures, someone else took them, but when I get them, I'll post them.
If you got some ideas we sure would appreciate them.
And the question for you then is how are you "freezing for Jesus?" How are you being a "living Nativity" for others to see?