THE FIRST KING-SIZE BED
Early in my 36-year ministry at Frazer, our youth presented a living Nativity scene in front of the church property. People could circle the three church buildings while listening to Christmas music and see the Christmas story. The living Nativity scene was just inside the circle close to the Atlanta Highway.
The youth and college students dressed up as angels, shepherds, wise men, Mary, Joseph, and had a doll for the baby Jesus. They really made the characters of Christmas come alive. At that time, my children, Vicki and Si, were young and were very fascinated with the living Nativity scene. They knew most of the young people and quickly recognized and identified them as they played different characters.
They had several live animals, including two live sheep. The Nativity cast named the sheep after my kids, Vicki and Si. On Christmas Eve afternoon, the 4-lane Atlanta Highway was crowded with last minute shoppers. One of the college wise men was flirting with one of the girls who was an angel. He accidentally left open the gate of the pen holding the animals when he went over to speak to the angel girl, and the two sheep, Vicki and Si, got out and ran onto the Atlanta Highway.
It is a scene I will never forget! Traffic was stopped as people were observing all of these young people in Biblical outfits chasing those two sheep down the Atlanta Highway. You could hear them calling out everywhere, “Vicki! Si! Vicki! Si! Stop!!” The sheep didn’t respond. There were some adults that got out of their cars and helped corner the sheep in a parking lot down at Burbank Drive. They safely transported the sheep back to the fenced-in area, and the Nativity scene resumed.
The characters of Christmas were really alive in that manger scene! I hope the characters of Christmas come alive for you this Christmas! I hope it’s not just a 2,000-year-old story with some plastic figures displayed somewhere in your house. You don’t need to chase sheep and stop traffic on the Atlanta Highway to experience the real Christmas.
Most importantly, I want you to be sure that the Baby who was born in the manger is real in your life. The youth used a plastic doll because of the weather. The Child who was born was real and doesn’t have to worry about the weather. He is a real child who is in charge of the weather!
I used to do a “Characters at Christmas” sermon each year. We had the live characters come in and participate with me in the live reenactment of Christmas. The baby Jesus was a real, live baby. The TV ministry at Frazer has made the 2007 sermon available for our digital ministry. If you and your family want to watch that sermon with the live characters, you can access the video by CLICKING HERE.
I hope all of the characters of Christmas will be real to you. Remember, the most important part of Christmas is the birth of Jesus. Isaiah prophesied, “Unto us a Child is born…” (Isaiah 9:6) The angel declared, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)
A thousand times a baby has become a king – but only once has a king become a baby!! The first “King-size” bed was a manger! Celebrate the King!!