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?


Tom Bailey said...

I like reading christian based blogs like this.

You have quite a few good ideas. For christmas when I was in youth ministry we would go door to door collecting can goods for the poor when it was cold and then distribute them to the needy and sing them christmas songs.

1-4 Grace said...

Great post. One of our local churches did a drive-thru nativity. I ddi not go that night, so no help there.
I love the hospitality tent idea.
Might be good to have some type of freebie (yo-yo, frisbee, pens, soemthing) with church info on it.
Hot cocoa and coooies would go a long way in my book! I enjoy eating and yes, love Paula Deen. Plan to eat there one day.

Anonymous said...

Around our church, anything food-related is a big hit, so I'd second the hot cocoa and cookies!

Thanks for stopping by my blog and your warm welcome to RGBP.

Anonymous said...

Can I steal your questions and this illustration for my Sunday sermon? I hope you say, "yes," because I'm planning to anyway :)

revabi said...

Thanks for the great comments and support.

And April, yes you are welcome to use it.

hipastorzwife2B said...

Freezing for Jesus, oh yes.
Last year we had shifts so one holy family could warm up while the others froze. This year we are caroling...there are 3 Living Nativities in the town, and one has animals!

Anonymous said...

I love this story especially the fact that it is so true. I pray your little one has recovered from surgery by now too.

Sally said...

... just wonderful... thank you

Mary Beth said...

What a wonderful, challenging way to end, Abi. I'm going to share this with my Christmas party attendees tonight!

hugs to you...

the reverend mommy said...

I love the idea of a hospitality tent.
We just are on the corner -- more of a "drive-by" nativity. We also are caroling. I'll let you know how it goes.

Anonymous said...

I like it - being a "living Nativity" for Christ...

brrrrr pass the hot chocolate!

Sue said...

Great post!! I love this.

Anonymous said...

Just to let you know I miss reading about your family at this season. I am sure you are busier than busy with all the church and family events. Pray all is well with the children. One of my adopted sons surprised all of us this morning by coming to church. He has just had back surgery and normally does not come to church --but did this morning. A really neat Christmas gift in my heart.

God is so very good!

Just know I do read (most of the time)and enjoy.

Blessings and Merry Christmas,

Free Flying Spirit said...

Wonderfull things to think about!

I know of a church who has a Nativity Walk. People come from any church and they walk along a path to where the scene is set up in a barn...live!

Yes, they dress for the cold too. Afterwards they go to the church
and have hot chocolate, etc.

Often there are car loads that come from further away. I hear it's a wonderful experience. The weather does affect what happens, but it has been done for a few years now.

I haven't been able to get to it yet..it's in another town. Maybe next year!?!