Live nativity brings Christ’s story to life
Wednesday, Nov 29, 2017 06:00 am
The true meaning of Christmas will unravel in the parking lot of a Black Diamond church this weekend.
The congregation of the Black Diamond Gospel Chapel is hosting its annual live nativity in the chapel parking lot Dec. 1 and 2. There will be a narrated reenactment of the birth of Christ in what’s become a tradition for the church.
“We’ve seen how much the community really loves it, the joy on the kids’ faces,” said nativity co-ordinator Karen Letkeman. “We are here to minister, so that’s our focus.”
Putting on the live nativity takes about 50 church volunteers, including 20 in the cast and 15 in the choir, said Letkeman. She said hosting the live nativity each year before Christmas gets a very important message out to the public.
“First and foremost for us, is the priority to preach the gospel and the good news of what Christmas really means and to go back to the birth of Christ and why Christ came down to be sacrificed so we could have a renewed relationship with the Lord,” said Letkeman.
Members of the congregation take on the role of Mary, Joseph, the wisemen, shepherds, the innkeeper and angels as the story of Christ’s birth unfolds in Bethlehem.
The church partners with Shirley Mundell, who directs the production and lends various animals from her Kuddly Kountry Kritters including llamas, sheep and donkeys, as well as smaller critters for a petting zoo before and after the pageants.
“It’s a really big production,” said Letkeman. “There is a lot of volunteers to get it all together.”
Tony Barber, member of the Black Diamond Gospel Chapel, plays a wiseman who proclaims the birth of Jesus and presents him with gifts.
“It takes you back a step, really, because this is the birth of our Saviour,” he said. “He is the one who is going to redeem us back to God. To me, as a Christian, it’s awe-inspiring. It’s an outreach in the community about Jesus Christ.”
Barber has been in the past two performances. He said he enjoys being one of the many people who make it happen.
“We’ve got set-up guys, take-down guys, we’ve got people who bake the treats,” he said. “There is no lack of volunteers.”
The Black Diamond Gospel Chapel choir and actors have been rehearsing the 25 to 35-minute play once a week after church services, said Barber.
The pageant will be narrated by Pastor Matt Martins and the choir will sing traditional Christmas songs, she said.
“We end with Joy to the World so everybody can stand and sing to it,” he said. “We get over 300 people every year.”
Performances take place Dec. 1 and 2 at 7 p.m. and are free to attend.
Those attending can warm up at firepits, sample lamb soup and enjoy refreshments in the church basement.