There are many events in your life that can shape you, one event that has been in my life began to shape and inspire me as a young child and the effects of this event still lives inside of me today in the ministries I have chosen to be involved with. I would love to share this Christmas story with you.
In my childhood home town we had an evangelist who started a bi-yearly acting out the story of baby Jesus’ birth. Big deal you might say – my childhood home town has about 75 people who live there. The surrounding farming communities can raise the number more, but this evangelist vision did not have the little children acting out the story – NO! It has the local teenagers as the shepherds, the family that has the newest baby is called to be Mary and Joseph and their new baby is Jesus - and they don't have to go to church to take part. This service has been running for nearly 30 years and because the local church can not do it on its own, the other different church based families have been heavily involved for years. Because this is a farming community roughly about seven years ago they were finding it too hard to manage, so it was not done that year and looked never to return.
A much loved and wanted baby was born, and as it was the newest baby that year around Christmas, his parents realized that it could be their turn to be Mary and Joseph and what an honor for their baby son to be Jesus, so they started to rally support for our towns Christmas event just under two weeks before Christmas. All I can say is that God works in mysterious and inspirational ways. With just three days notice and a change of venues as the town decided that having people dress up as shepherds and wise men and a big event next to a major highway can actually be a traffic hazard - even though so far all we had was a few strange stares and no accident. My small childhood home town held their Christmas celebration drawing in around two hundred and fifty people. It has now gone from a bi-yearly event to a yearly event which is supported by the community. It is an event I try to take my children too. My home church is great and puts on really great and inspirational Christmas services, but I still like the wooden stables and chairs under the night sky, and the low key way the night is run. My children enjoy it as it is a special time with their cousins while still being about the true meaning of Christmas.
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