Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

21 December 2011

"Behind the Stable"... my Living Nativity story (And FULL video)

This weekend, Freedom House performed the second annual "Living Nativity" 6 times over 3 days for roughly 2500 people outdoors in Brantford's Harmony Square. Thanks to I AM Studios and Caleb Bray... this is video of the show in it's entirety:

If you watched all the way to the end, you'll see me come out and speak about the story of Jesus to the crowd. This was the final performance and I was feeling particularly fired up as I paced around behind the stable. A lot of thoughts were going through my head and I was desperately attempting to grasp them and articulate the moment. You see, the Canadian church doesn't get many "open air" opportunities to fully speak about the full message of Jesus Christ with THAT much buy-in and excitement from the WHOLE community. We do A LOT of showing God's love in a practical way, and it's the only reason why we get to have an audience for The Living Nativity... but culturally the chance to preach in public to crowds is a rare bird.

Behind the stable I couldn't help but remember my early days as a Christian. I was remembering the hope I first held for sharing the message of Christ's "life forevermore" in my culture... followed by the hopelessness I felt after hitting walls of over-stimulation, self-sufficiency and malaise. I wondered if there even was a logical way to ever really "reach" MY city without being the spiritual bully I NEVER wanted to be.

I was remembering how my eyes were pried open during my time in Ghana to see a present-day, here-and-now, context where the message of Jesus was being embraced en masse and wasn't... jerky. Could it really be? I remembered wondering how it this new information/experience would ever translate to the motherland to which I was so heavily burdened for. But if it was really real, there had to be a way.

Behind the stable I was flipping through the mental Rolodex of pictures of the last 12 years of hard work as an African-trained missionary to my own "people group." I was remembering a whole lot of trial and error... a whole lot of faith walking... a steady progression of hope... and some of our recent breakthroughs.

On the video at about the 15 minute mark, you'll see the shepherds freaking out about their encounter with Jesus. They begin running around the crowd (and even out onto the VERY Bethlehem esc ice rink) shouting, "THE KING IS BORN." Jamie Prokop who plays Joseph, walks to the front of the stage with a bewildered "what in the world is going on here" look on his face. Angels were translating a message from heaven while wild men were running around the countryside spilling the beans about a message that NOBODY quite "got" at this point. It's a PR person's nightmare. There was NO WAY to stay on top of this message. It was a virus that got let out of the box.

It's a virus that so so many have caught. Books upon books have been written about this story. MILLIONS upon MILLIONS gather to converse, sing and dance with him weekly. BILLIONS upon BILLIONS whisper hopeful nighttime utterings to him. This story is an unstoppable WILDFIRE that has become the central story around which humankind functions today. Whether you are a Christian or not, we all must choose to whether Jesus Christ IS or IS NOT the son of God and our lives are knowingly or unknowingly structured accordingly. As Brian Beattie says, "The most important thing about you is what you think about when you think about God."

No one who has ever walked this earth who has claimed to BE God & Love incarnate has had a reputation or credibly that has lasted more than a few decades without coming crashing down. Jesus story however just... keeps... spreading on a global scale.

Behind the stable as I walked out on stage to declare that I DO believe this story; I felt very aware and humbled of my minor role in a MAJOR production.

1 comment:

Peter Hartgerink said...

Wonderful story. I heard about it through Richard Long's blog. Thank you for your honest sharing of the struggle of how to have the gospel heard in our culture, and for sharing this encouraging testimony of God opening doors for you. Your story is faith-building and inspirational in its honesty and simplicity.

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