As many as 400 are expected to attend this year’s annual live outdoor nativity program, a medley of music and scripture performed by children at Faith Lutheran Church.
“It’s trying to reinforce how important Jesus should be in all of our lives in December, and especially throughout the year,” program director Bonnie Pflughaupt said. “We’re trying to do it early in December so that people can get the right focus for the Christmas season.”
Members of Faith Lutheran Church have hosted the live nativity for almost a decade, according to Gary Pflughaupt, who will narrate the program this year.
Previously, the live nativity was a reenactment based on the story of Jesus’ birth as told by Luke, but this year’s program will include an added theme.
“We’re going to have the youngsters proclaim the names of Jesus,” Gary said. “It’s not about us or our church. It’s all about Jesus, and that’s what we want to focus on this year. The names of Jesus.”
Along with traditional Christmas music and scripture, some of the readings and songs will talk about Jesus’ various names in the Bible, such as Emmanuel and Blessed Redeemer.
“That was derived from a Bible study we’ve been doing this last year at church,” Bonnie said. “One thing just led to another. This is a beautiful, powerful Gospel message out there.”
Thirty children, ranging from eight months to 10 years old, will dress as baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, wisemen, shepherds, sheep and angels for the event, while live cows and chickens will also be featured in the nativity.
“What’s so neat is, when a song is sung or a scripture is read, and then you hear, ‘Moooo,’” Gary said. “It’s just a real neat setting. Especially if there are going to be stars and the coolness of the night. It really makes for a special time.”
Rehearsals for the program began six weeks ago, according to Bonnie, who said she is excited about watching the kids perform.
“I hope the parents are just as proud of them as I am,” she said.
The event is open to the community. Admission is free, and refreshments and cookies will be provided.
“Just like Jesus died on the cross for your sins, he did it free, we do it free as well,” Gary said.
The live nativity will take place on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 6 p.m. at Faith Lutheran Church, 2103 N. Mechanic.