Over 90 visitors experienced the free “Walk Through Bethlehem” at Madison Community Adventist Church on December 7 and 8. The experience began with meeting the Census Taker and Tax Collector, then proceeded to the Bethlehem marketplace which included 10 stands of: fruit, vegetable, salt, & fish sellers; textile, iron work, carpentry, and pottery makers; and finally basket and bread makers offering warm bread and lentil soup. There was also a synagogue and family home.
After hearing the marketplace buzzing with talk of a baby being born in a stable and listening to the prophecy of the Messiah from the book of Isaiah, the walk continued past Herod’s palace to the sanctuary where the shepherds and Magi bowed down at the crèche scene with baby Jesus. That was followed by the risen Savior pointing to the cross and quoting John 3:16-17. The event ended with the narrator looking forward to the second advent of Jesus and the visitors joining in singing “Joy to the World.”
Some visitors were teary by the end, and some wanted to take pictures of the incredible props and costumes in the marketplace. For those donated props, we thank the generosity of the Wisconsin Conference and Wisconsin Academy, specifically the Edge Family (Juanita, Greg, and Mike). We are grateful for the participation of some members of the Madison East Church. Special thanks also go to Wayne Ewers and crew for the set construction.
This first annual Christmas Pageant will be repeated for the community again next year. At each outreach event, the free will offering is directed to a different community charity. The 2019 pageant donations collected by our church’s Project SMALL (Single Moms And Little Lads) are going to Shelter From The Storm Ministries, a Christian ministry in Sun Prairie, WI, that provides transitional shelter for single mothers and their children experiencing homelessness. We thank those who donated to this cause.
Sue Martin, Clerk at Madison Community Church