SIKESTON – In this COVID-19 era, the annual Christmas show, to borrow the maxim, must go on.
First Baptist Pastor Mathew Vroman said the church normally does a Christmas program, but the real and perceived threats of the coronavirus seemed to curtail it.
“I told them I could write a play. I wanted to write something quality, funny and relevant. There are three audiences: those who are not saved, but know something of the Bible; those not saved who know nothing of the Bible or God, and the Christian who just needs encouragement. All three audiences are wrestling with where God is in the COVID,” Vroman said.
The gist of the play is that a non-profit agency Christmas play is scheduled, but canceled because of the pandemic. A granddaughter of the one who gave the money for the annual play claims, by law, if the play is not done in a 10-day window, she gets the money, and seeks to thwart efforts to make the play happen. Furthermore, the play director is a high school intern, and can only get a few kids who don’t know how to act and don’t know the Bible or the meaning of Christmas. Other parents are keeping their kids from participating because of the virus.
Spoiler alert: “It has a happy ending,” Vroman said.
Vroman said his church is doing the play-within-a-play at Old Bethel Baptist, where Brent Horton is pastor, is doing the music for the show.
The show will be December 12 at 7 p.m. at First Baptist, Sikeston; Dec. 13 at 6 p.m. at Old Bethel Baptist outside of Sikeston, and Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. at Sikeston Little Theater. The church presentations are free, and theater is for donations.
“Another thing that’s really cool is, basically, we’re the only show at the Sikeston Little Theaters since November. We’re there for their fundraiser, but we get to preach the gospel.”
Vroman fears what churches do in a pandemic.
“It’s easy to decide to quarantine the gospel. But we can’t stop preaching the gospel. Imagine going through COVID-19 without Christ. No one has hope. I hope people seize the COVID opportunities to speak to people’s mortality. This year, God has taken away everything from us – our financial security, everything.”
The Dec. 13 show will also be shown live through Facebook. Vroman said he is targeting English-speaking countries and Israel through Facebook ads.
“We have an opportunity for missions. If we are creative with bedrock preaching in the word, we have a good opportunity to get the gospel out,” Vroman said.