The Arlington First Baptist Church in Jonesville presented its nativity drama on December 14 and 15.
The church called its second annual drama “It’s All about Jesus.”
“It’s our interpretation of Jesus’ life and we’re thrilled to present our nativity scenes,” said youth Pastor Marty Nixon.
While the term “nativity scene” typically includes two dimensional depictions in film, painting, printmaking, and other media, “living nativity scenes” in which real humans and animals participate is what was given to us by the church.
A mechanical crane elevated the Jesus Christ actor simulating Christ’s ascension into Heaven.
The six nativity drama scenes were directed by Nixon and his wife Angela.
Scene One - The Birth of Jesus:
A nativity scene took its inspiration from the accounts of the birth of Jesus, as the narrator described, “And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger.” Shepherds and angels then visited the humble site where Jesus is found lying in a manger. A song by David Phelps, “O Holy Night,” was playing in the background.
Scene Two - Jesus’ Life:
The second scene consisted of a depiction pertaining to the ministry of Jesus as he traveled trough Galilee. Jesus is shown teaching in the synagogues, preaching the gospel of the Kingdom and actors presenting all types of illnesses and diseases were seen being healed by Jesus. The background music for scene two was “The Healer is Here,” by the Whishons.
Scene Three - The Lord’s Supper:
In what was a turning point for the narrative and drama, a sudden urgency and chill filled the air as Jesus hosted the Last Supper with his disciples. During the drama, Jesus instituted the Eucharist, and He prepared his followers for his departure. The song for this scene was “How Beautiful,” by Twila Paris.
Scene Four - The Garden to the Cross:
While praying in a garden, Judas arrived with soldiers. Jesus was contained and taken to a cross. Though Jesus was shown being whipped and crucified, the scene wasn’t terribly graphic - but spectators got the point. The lights illuminating on a Jesus who was being affixed to the cross were replaced by an image in the background lit with burgundy lighting showcasing three crosses being erected. The song for this scene was “Carry My Cross,” from group Third Day.
Scene Five - Resurrection of Jesus:
In what was a powerful scene, the drama presented the resurrection of Jesus, which is a critical foundation of the Christian faith. The tomb (prop) that held Jesus Christ opened and soldiers shown guarding the tomb fell to the floor. Jesus appeared spiritually resurrected with Jesus and was joined by angels who were singing in sync and in harmony a song called “Arise My Love,” by New Song.
Scene Six - The Ascension:
In what was the most dramatic moment of the drama, the ascension of Jesus shows how He was taken up to heaven in his resurrected body, in the presence of eleven of his apostles. As narrated, Jesus stated before going to Heaven, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” In the darkness was a crane operated by Kent Suddreth, Jr. The crane elevated Justin Wyatt 60 feet into the air (Wyatt was the second Jesus actor for the nativity). “Joy to the World,” by Chris Tomlin was played in the background. After the ascension, the entire staff of Arlington’s actors lined up in front of the drama and were seen singing and waving to the spectators wishing all a Merry Christmas.
Jesus was played by Brandon Nichols who was well poised, versed, very animated, and was quite busy shifting from nativity to nativity.
The narrator for the drama was John Wishon.
The cast: Jessie Pardue, Christina Pardue, David Householder, Shirley Householder, Lance Householder, Colten Householder, Dean Anderson, Angie Anderson, Kelly Church, Presley Church, Micah Church, Lou Finney, Jeff Wood, Denise Wood, McKinley Wood, Jeff Eckard, Emily Eckard, Brandon Nichols, Stephanie Nichols, Faith Brewer, Kailtlyn Blackburn, Hailey Edwards, Jo Jo Welburn, Courtney Snow, Justin Wyatt, Beth Wyatt, Lance Mastin, McKenzie Mastin, Aaliyah Mastin, Zach Nixon, Ashlyn Nixon, Logan Pardue, Jared Nelson, Winston Osborne, Mickey Porterfield, Todd Wagoner, Andy Green, David Owens, Jim Clements, Betty Clements, JC Turner, Lillian Cockerham, Bonnie Lassiter, Heather Collins, Coutland Wagoner, Breanne Freeman, and Abby Freeman.
The church extended a special thank you to the Arlington Fire Department, Kent Suddreth, Jr., Greg Pardue, and Barry Somers, and the Newman Brothers for their efforts on helping make the presentation a success.
Update: The Tribune adds Brian Wyatt, Hannah Wyatt, Emily Brewer, and Allen Anderson to the cast.