Pastor Struggles To Give Altar Call After Church Christmas Play That Had Nothing To Do With Jesus
The Christmas play is an enduring tradition of the modern church. But the story is pretty limited in its details, and has been done literally millions of times. Over time it became popular to spice it up by incorporating contemporary storylines to capture the imagination of attendees. Ultimately this creative swing resulted in stories that were less about the nativity story, and more about… well, pretty much everything else.
For the last 10 years, Bedford Falls Baptist Methodist Church’s creative team has been moving away from the traditional story and guiding their audience through what we might call a ‘Christmas mystery theater’ as no one knows where it came from, where it is going, or what it has to do with the birth of Christ. This year’s production of “A Die Hard Christmas” was the culmination of years of advent confusion.
After the curtain dropped, and the final awkward smattering of clapping was heard, Pastor Wiseman stepped up to the stage, looked around for an exit ramp, cleared his throat, managed a crooked smile, and said, “Well… that was interesting. I would like to say that if you don’t know Jesus, you should. And just remember… the odds were against Jesus. And that’s just the way He likes it. Merry Christmas.”
Jeannie Shepard, who wrote, directed, and starred in the church play says that she loves the fact that no one knows what the play has to do with Christmas. “I see it as a mystery ministry. People come up to me and ask what the Christmas play has to do with the birth of Christ, and I get to tell them about my creative spirit. It is a gift to me when they ask. And it is my gift to them when I tell them. Plus… I’ve always wanted to play a Bruce Willis part. He is my favorite.”
LifeWay Research revealed this year that 86% of churches now put on a Christmas play that in no way resembles the story found in the second chapter of Luke
What’s up for next year at Bedford Falls Methodist Church? Well, Shepard says it is a secret, but giggled out, “There will be plenty of loud singing, with lots of syrup and spaghetti.”