Three Wise Men, Two Camels, and a Living Nativity Scene · 21 December 2007
Even though it meant a trip all the way back to Duvall from Monroe (about 8 miles), we packed up the kids and went to The Duvall Church to see their Live Nativity. Of course, part of the draw was a reason to get out of the house, but the biggest reason that we went was to see two live camels.
I do not remember seeing camels roam the Snoqualmie or Skykomish valleys before so it was a rare sight to see two camels in the parking lot of The Duvall Christian School (part of The Duvall Church ministries). We got to touch them and found that their fur was soft. And the kids even got to feed the camels a carrot or two. People took pictures with their phones and cameras. I think that they were trying to get those camels into their Christmas pictures. In reality, I am sure that they just realized the novelty of touching or even just seeing a live camel.
As cool as the camels were, the Live Nativity was a way “to keep Christ in Christmas,” as Associate Pastor, John Olson, put it. And that goal was definitely realized. There were eight scenes depicting not just the nativity but many parts of Jesus’ life and ministry. It was similar to the stations of the cross that I have seen in stained glass at different churches. But the stations had real people from the church acting out the different scenes. The actors would wait until people were gathered around and then they would perform their scenes. At one scene, I saw a wise man being played by a parent of one of my former students. After the three wise men spoke their parts, I said hello and asked how his daughter was doing. Since there was nobody waiting, he broke from his character and we chatted for just a bit. Then he offered my boys some chocolate from his box of treasures.
After we had visited all the scenes of the Living Nativity, we went into the school for some treats and activities for the kids. They made rope, formed a baby Jesus out of clay, decorated treasure boxes, made perfume, and even ground grain into flour. While we were there drinking hot chocolate and enjoying the activities, a choir sang and there was a wonderful piano performance. It was a great evening.
When we left, a centurion guided us safely across the street, just as he had when we arrived. It was a great evening chatting with one of the three wise men, taking pictures of the two camels, and absorbing the scenes and activities of the Living Nativity. It was a good way to introduce people to The Duvall Church and help them understand that Christ is really what Christmas is all about. And it was really cool to see and touch two live camels.
© 2007 Michael T. Miyoshi
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Published 27 December 2007 in The RiverCurrentNews
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