RUSSELLVILLE – A living Nativity scene at Corticelli Baptist Church portrays the gospel story from the cradle of Jesus to the cross and the empty tomb. The Dec. 6th production was the sixth time the church has put this together for their community.
Cars line up outside the rural church and are directed in to the six nativity scenes with animals, actors, Scripture signs and music, and the story is unfolded with scenes of Bethlehem and the manger, the angels revealing Jesus’ birth to the shepherds, the cross and then the empty tomb.
Kathy Volkart, who coordinates the effort, said they wanted to tell the Christmas story but also wanted to show the cross and resurrection story as well.
They have many volunteers from the church acting out the scenes at each of the stops and singers provide a couple of verses of a Christmas carol to tell the story.
Russellville is a farming community and they have a large turnout of people from the community and some from nearby Jefferson City who attend the annual event.
Volkart said they do it because they want to kind of “get our of our box,” and they wanted to be mission-minded and share with their community the love of God. She said they started doing this in 2015, and the first year they tried it a light bulb shorted out at one of the scenes and caused a fire, which shut down the exhibit for the night. No one was hurt, and the fire was quickly extinguished.
She said they see some good results. “Individuals drive through and comment to us. One man said, with tears in his eyes, ‘You have put Christ back in Christmas for me.”
She added, “During the year of COVID everyone wanted to get back to church and this was a drive-through way for them to worship at Christmas-time.”
They have lots of expressions of gratitude and they know they get a lot of people who do not regularly attend church driving through. They hope it is a great witness of Jesus to their town and area.