Hillview Seventh-day Adventist Church (Morisset, NSW) ran a nativity program this week (December 15–17) with more than 1500 guests travelling the “road to Bethlehem”.
More than 100 church members took part in the nightly Christmas story reenactment, entitled “The Stable Door”, with spectators walking through various acted scenes of events that took place more than 2000 years ago.
Dressed in period costume, the drama began with an announcement to all citizens (spectators) that they must go to the place of their birth for an upcoming census.
The travellers then moved on to the first scene where three young women at a well were gossipping about the engagement of Mary to Joseph.
Every 20 minutes, a new group of people went on to walk the road to Bethlehem, encountering an inn where there was no accommodation for Mary and Joseph, meeting wise men discussing the prophecies of a Messiah, then on to shepherds with their sheep hearing the news of a divine birth.
Along the way the travellers were set upon by beggars and robbers. A highlight was the arrival of an angel travelling by zip line to a heavenly choir in the trees singing about the baby’s birth.
A busy market scene took place before the groups went into Herod’s palace, where Herod pronounced death on the new baby, seeing him as a rival to the throne.
The final scenes culminated in the manger with the birth of baby Jesus, featuring a live baby actor.
Night markets added to the evening atmosphere, with church members selling food and other items to attendees. Altogether 170 people were involved in The Stable Door, from actors to support staff and those running the night markets.