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Living Nativity Happens In Bethany Churchyard

Jan 3, 2024 (0)


Blue dusk enveloped Bethany's country churchyard as heavy mist tappered mild. The long awaited Living Nativity happened Dec. 23.

  The Knox/Hoerle family shared their gentle adorable animals. Goats, Fern and Penelope, became the sheep and lamb. Three miniature horses, Captain, Farra and Midnight, morphed into camels. The shaggy  miniature donkey Pablo played the donkey, typecast perfectly.

A rough wooden stable replete with hay bales appeared, courtesy of Tim Lambert and Mark Hoffman, with soft subtle lighting by Will Burtwistle.

Augustus and Vivien Larson portrayed Joseph and Mary. According to mighty little Mary, her doll actually was Baby Jesus! Angels were played by Addyson Hubel and Grace Hoffman. Wesley Hoffman served as Shepard. Mason Knox, Bennet Knox and Peyton Johannes became colorfully clad wise men trailing a star through fog to Bethlehem.

Brian Larson and Jennifer Burtwistle narrated the Christmas story from Luke 2. Linda Lambert led carols between scripture lessons, closing with "Happy Birthday," "Silent Night" and prayers for peace.

Nearly 100 rural worshippers had flocked together on the damp gravel, like birds at a winter feeder hungering for the Word to become flesh and dwell among us, full of grace and truth, in all its childlike simplicity and beauty.

   Festive fellowship followed around hot soup and sweet confections in the beautifully vintage-decorated church basement. Men and women, young and old, caught up to celebrate Christ's birth as the evening became a blessed miracle.


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