December 15, 2011 —
BETHANY, PA — Every year, local churches in our area find special ways to celebrate the Christmas season. Among the most interesting of such traditions is a living nativity held by the Bethany Presbyterian Church. At the annual event, members of the congregation reproduce realistic scenes from the New Testament’s story of the nativity of Jesus Christ, with actors and live animals.
Beginning in the historic church on Route 670, the scenes spill out onto the church grounds with imaginative interpretations of the traditional story, colored by modern music and even humorous themes.
The nativity this year took participants on a quasi-journey in Bethlehem, with scenes of the rapacious King Herod, the adoring Magi, the stunned shepherds, dancing townspeople, a cute group of merry baby angels and an indifferent inn keeper. Visitors could also experience the rustic stable with animals, the Baby Jesus, the Virgin Mary and her husband Joseph, attended by a flock of the heavenly hosts.
The journey ended, appropriately enough, in the local inn, where there were warm drinks, cookies and good cheer.