PALESTINE — In the hustle and bustle of the busiest time of the year, it can be easy to lose sight of the meaning of the season.
However, for more than 20 years, Grace United Methodist Church has blessed the community with a reminder of the “reason for the season” through its annual living nativity.
Grace UMC will hold its 22nd annual event from 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday at 1918 E. Murchison St.
“This is our gift to the community! The gospel is a life-changing, life-enhancing, life-giving message and we want to present it that way,” Grace UMC pastor The Rev. Phil Chamberlin said. “This is a great way for our church to come together and do something as a team that reaches the community with the message of Jesus.”
Palestine residents and visitors may notice a bright search light in the sky Sunday to help find the baby Jesus sleeping in the manger.
“Every year, there is something a bit different that we are always trying to tweak to exhibit the message as new and interesting,” Chamberlin said. “Like two years ago, we added the searchlight. It was a late add with a day's notice and a lot of scrambling. It went from a brainstorm after the first night of 'wouldn't it be nice if...' to us frantically scouring the area to rent one.
“Our folks are very 'can do!' The search light we have comes from Dallas now,” he added. “The first year people thought a new Target was opening or something. It was hilarious!”
Chamberlin said the living nativity is a good reminder of what that first Christmas was like.
“It was cold in that stable. The animals smelled. Mary had been on a donkey at nine months pregnant,” he said. “Have you ever been around a 9-months pregnant woman? Everything is miserable for them.