Time. Money. Peace of mind. These things all seem a distant memory in the face of the things that stress us: the economy, our jobs, recovering from Hurricane Sandy, the crush of the upcoming holiday season. Where can you go to lay these burdens down?
On Saturday and Sunday from 4:30 until 8 p.m., St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Parsippany will offer its 23rd annual Live Nativity.
Time? It only takes a few moments. A 15-minute narrative telling of the Nativity Story is read continuously under a deep blue star-lit night sky over Bethlehem. As guests lay their burdens down in the manger, the shepherds journey to Bethlehem to see the Messiah announced by the angels, and Wise Men travel from the East to lay their own burdens and gifts before the infant King.
Money? Admission to St. Andrew’s Live Nativity is free. Refreshments are served after each reading, and each small group of guests will receive a free hand-crafted ornament as a keepsake of their visit. St. Andrew is collecting non-perishable food items for the Emergency Food Pantry at the Parsippany Community Center for anyone who is able to bring a donation of this type.
Peace of mind? In direct contrast to the noise, blaring music, glaring lights and secular commercialism of the Christmas season, St. Andrew’s Live Nativity offers a serene and peaceful way to contemplate the real reason for the Christmas season. Just as the Wise Men entrusted their camels to carry them and their burdens to find the newborn King, guests are encouraged to trust God and lay their own burdens down before the Christ child. St. Andrew’s sanctuary will also be open for meditation and prayer.
Last year over 600 guests enjoyed the peace and joy of St. Andrew’s Live Nativity, a record attendance. Many first time visitors promised to return, while many returning guests frequently comment that St. Andrew’s Live Nativity is an annual event that helps them to center their holiday on what Christmas is truly about.
St. Andrew’s Live Nativity is an indoor, handicapped accessible event at the church, located at 335 Reynolds Ave, Parsippany, NJ 07054. For more information or directions, please visit the church’s web site at www.elcaAndy.org, or call 973-887-6713.