Christmas Story Comes To Life

Published 7:47 pm Thursday, December 9, 2010

On a cold, dark night in the front yard of New Sight BaptistChurch this weekend, the story of Jesus Christ will come to lifeover and over for visitors to the church’s annual Christmasevent.

Beginning Friday night, the church will hold its third annualLive Nativity, a full-on production depicting the Christmas storyand beyond by acting out scenes from the life of Jesus.

Set up on the south side of the church’s circular driveway, theevent is designed to allow visitors to drive through and view thestory from the comfort of their heated vehicles.

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It will be open Friday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 6p.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is free.

“Basically, it’s the Christmas story come to life,” said TammyPrice, who organized the nativity. “It’s what the Christmas seasonis all about – Jesus Christ.”

Though the church has held a live nativity the previous twoyears, the 2010 event will dwarf the prior productions. Thisweekend’s nativity features more than 50 actors of all ages actingout the story of Christ in 16 scenes.

The period costumes and hand-built sets have been designed toaccurately depict first century Bethlehem, with Roman guards onhorseback; livestock like chickens, goats and llamas; a marketplace with fruit stands and a bakery; and even the palace of Caesarfrom which the census decree was issued.

“We’re trying to depict things the way they were in Bethlehemduring that time,” Price said. “It was a crowded town during a busytime.”

A lot of work has gone into reconstructing a drive-by Bethlehem,with church members volunteering to build the set and sew thecostumes in the evening hours since October. The preparation hasbeen generously supported, said New Sight member Wayne Ashmore.

“We had a lot of people donate building materials, and oneanonymous donor gave money,” he said. “A lot of ladies have done alot of sewing over the past few weeks.”

Though the nativity is designed a drive-through event, peopleare welcome to stop, get out and inspect the Christmas story moreclosely. Those bringing small children to the nativity will almostcertainly want to stop and let the kids pet the animals in thepetting zoo.

The rules are pretty relaxed, as long as people come andexperience the story of Jesus, said New Sight Pastor WaynePrice.

“This event is done to reach the community, to get the story ofJesus out,” he said. “Christmas plays are usually localized withina church service. With our nativity, people don’t have to get outand come to church at 11 o’clock. They can just drive by on theirway home or to the restaurant and see the story of Christ.”

New Sight member Bobby Foster said hopes are the nativity willinspire some discussion about the Savior.

“We hope kids will see this and ask their parents, ‘What’s thisabout?’ Maybe that will get them to thinking, ‘Maybe I need to getback in church.'”

Upon leaving the nativity, visitors will be given a gift bagcontaining a Christmas ornament, candy and Christian religiousmaterial. And people always have the option of completing the shortcircle and turning back into the nativity for a seconddrive-through.

Church leaders said they will not shut down the production aslong as people are still coming to see the story of Jesus.

“We hope to cause such a traffic jam up there they have to senda deputy,” Bro. Price said.