By: Terry Simpson
As many think the Christmas holidays have become more and more commercialized, and less and less Christ-inspired, you could be hard pressed to find signs of the true meaning of Christmas. That is, unless you live in our beloved Monroe County.
We have something special here — way out in the middle of nowhere, our very own Bethlehem.
What better place to venture out to, away from the hustle and bustle of last-minute shoppers, and witness a reenactment of the miracle that so long ago became the reason for the season.
What is the reason?
Could it be the gifts under the tree? Maybe the ham dinner or the passed-down recipe for Grandma’s famous dressing?
The true reason for the season is right there in the name — CHRISTmas.
Christ, the son of God, a Savior born unto us, and the story as told in the book of Luke.
That story was portrayed in a live Nativity held at the H.A.M. Henderson Lodge, on Saturday, Dec. 22, with a standing-room-only crowd attending the annual event. In addition to the nativity scene, organizers included a chili and soup supper, a visit from Santa and an auction.
Bro. Gary Emberton read aloud from his Bible the story of Jesus’ birth, as those attending were transported back thousands of years into a simpler time.
Mary (played by Haley Peden) and Joseph (played by Drew Peden) swaddled baby Jesus (otherwise known as Davis Peden) in a makeshift stable, under a luminous full moon naturally spotlighting the event.
The re-enactment came to conclusion as the crowd sang “Silent Night,” and you could almost feel the warmth spread through the cold night. The realization of this miracle child and his amazing sacrifice shone brighter than the moon above.
And as the crowd dispersed, children’s laughter rang out through the night as they took turns petting the live animals — a calf, goats, a donkey and even a camel.
It was apparent, if even for only a moment, that Christ stood among the crowd and his smile touched everyone present with the true meaning of Christmas, his presence.