"Joseph hadn't made reservations. But in the midst of the mess of that situation, Jesus was born. In the midst of all that manure, a holy moment happened,” he added. “And Jesus came to earth to meet us in the mess and manure of our mistakes and lead us out of it.
“It's the vulgarity of the grace of God. You don't have to be perfect to come to him. No perfect people allowed in fact. You don't have to have it all together. Just come and see Christ the Savior who is born for all of us. It's why we have as a church the tagline: 'the people of the second chance.' His grace is enough!”
This will be the last year Grace UMC will hold the living nativity in this particular location.
“This nativity will be our last one in this location on Murchison Street. Next year, we'll be in our new location at the main campus on Country Club Road,” Chamberlin said. The church purchased the former Meadowbrook Country Club in November.
In addition to the living nativity, there will be refreshments inside the church for visitors.
“I know that folks are busy with their shopping, wrapping, partying and spending time with their family, but if they will pause to come out as a family, it will bless their Christmas and make it very special,” Chamberlin said. “Plus they can come in for awesome cookies and wassail. And there will be a surprise inside the building when they come!”
The living nativity comes together through the work of a team of volunteers.
“We have a team of dedicated folks who start very early in the year planning, dreaming, evaluating last year and beginning the long process of getting ready,” Chamberlin said. “Every option is scrutinized. Each garment is hand-made and nothing is ever just standard.
“It is always done with extreme attention to detail. That's a trademark of what's kept the nativity running so long,” he added. “The team runs various other teams from hospitality to prayer to food to animal care to cast members.
“But after it is all over, we always end up saying 'Wow, God!' We love it.”