The Austin Rhodes Show

The Austin Rhodes Show

The Austin Rhodes Show

Jesus is reason for the season

With the weather getting colder and the days getting shorter, it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! For the last 24 years Grace United Methodist Church in North Augusta has blessed our community with the “Return to Bethlehem” immersive nativity experience. It really doesn’t feel like Christmas until we walk through this beautiful gift to the CSRA from the folks at Grace. This year was a little more difficult pushing my mom around it in her wheelchair. But it was worth every sore muscle to get to share in the experience with my favorite girl.

It’s A Really Big Deal

The immersive Nativity is a huge production! Over 200 volunteers come together every other year to create sets, wrangle live animals like donkeys, sheep, and camels. Then they populate the little town of Bethlehem with townspeople and Roman soldiers.

Taking You Back In Time

From the time your journey begins, you are immersed in the story of Jesus’s birth. From the angel telling Mary that she will give birth to a savior to King Herod’s angry proclamations from his decadent throne, the guide gently wrangles the group towards the imposing gates.

As you approach, the Roman guards lift their torches and demand that you “state your business.” Then your guide explains that your group is made up of travelers coming to be counted in the census. On our tour, the guards allowed us to enter with lots of “Hail Ceasars!” And one gruff Roman guard told me to “pay my taxes” as we passed by.

On the other side of the gates we were greeted by a bustling village with townspeople aglow with the excitement of the north star and many visitors to the little town.

The Reason For The Season

Finally, the tour of Bethlehem ends at the manger with Mary, Joseph and the little baby Jesus. They were surrounded by the angels, the Wise men, the shepherds and the animals, reminding us all of what this season is really about!

Overall it was a wonderful event for both my mom and I. And we highly commend the folks at Grace United Methodist Church for their sacrifice of time and resources to bring this immersive experience to life!

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