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Live Nativity Drive Thru Experienceby David Snapper, SUMC Associat Pastor on December 23, 2020
SUMC presented a drive-thru Live Nativity Experience last Saturday
Should we hold a drive-through nativity? That’s the question we asked a little over month ago. Oh, it sounded difficult to hold the live nativity in the time of COVID. Too difficult. People couldn’t get out of their cars. It seemed impossible.
But, the show must go on. And it did. If God could pull of a miracle, he could make a nativity in Silverdale.
How did it go?
We decided the Gospel of Christ needed to be told in this most difficult time? Could we pull it off? We prayed and invited and the church jumped into action. Way to go, SUMC. Way to go, Spirit of God!
In a year when everything is more difficult, we hosted a gift to the community that pulled approximately vehicles off the road and into a guided and narrated tour of the birth of Jesus the Christ.
The headlights showed-up at 4
We did not know what to expect, but cars started arriving by 4:00 in the afternoon. They poured into the driveway.
Maybe the drivers visited because they saw our notice in the newspaper or heard by word of mouth. Maybe the drivers had no intention of stopping but turned into the driveway when they saw our parking-lot greeters with flashlights.
But come, they did.
Cars continued in a steady stream until 6:45pm. At that moment we have two or three minutes where I noticed no cars waiting in line.
They came faster than our two-minute timed narrations could get them through the journey from the Sheep in the Fields, to the Manger, to the arrival of the Magi from the East.
They lined up.
Lined up like Starbucks, except $8.79 less expensive per person, and much better for you.
They waited their turn, listening to our music on their radios.
They drove to a scene, listened to the narration and drove to the next. Every two minutes.
They pointed and stared.
They took the literature.
And they seemed blessed and happy.
Ninety cars. Maybe 200? Or 250? If there were three people in a vehicle, it’s possible we had 270 people.
A lot more than if we hadn’t heard God’s call.
Did we have goats. Indeed, we had an entire flock of goats with the shepherds. Beautiful little goats and the kids loved the kids for sure. Goats are as authentic as sheep in the Near East where both are common. But our goats were super-special gifts from friends of the church and they were fun.
How about our SUMC workers?
Was it wet for the workers? Yes. Some were drenched.
Setup began at 1pm and we were put-away by about 8pm.
Was it cold? Plenty cold.
Tiring? Too long to stand on our feet or sit in the cold? Indeed.
Despite all the challenges, we had workers to run the errands, set-up the shelters, string the lights, play the roles of the nativity. Maybe we had seventy-five workers. Maybe more. They came out into the cold and rain to organize costumes, prepare food and share the birth of Jesus.
When it was done the gym was filled with a forest of sopping-wet shelters.
Was it worth the drenching and the wear-and-tear?
Do it again? Probably not tomorrow. But next year, for sure.
In fact, if you want to help, you may have to take a number and get in line. Opportunities like this don’t come along very often.