For those wanting to experience a live re-enactment of the very first Christmas this upcoming holiday season, the public is invited to tour “The Nativity” on Dec. 7-9. Attendees will be able to interact with several well-known Bethlehem-based figures from the Biblical Nativity, as recorded in the Gospel of Luke. Nearly 1,000 attended this event last year.
This annual free event is hosted by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Chattanooga area with the purpose, according to event organizers, of inviting friends and neighbors to “experience the sacred wonder of the very first Christmas.”
It will be hosted at two different church buildings: 3067 Ooltewah-Ringgold Road in Ooltewah; and 1160 Ridgeway Ave.
in Signal Mountain. Tours at both locations are from 6-8 p.m. on Dec. 7-8 and 3-5 p.m. on Dec. 9. The church buildings are handicap accessible and Spanish-speaking translators will be available. Tours will run every 15-20 minutes with 10 people per group.
“The entire purpose of a re-enacted nativity is to help us all feel the love of the Savior and the joy surrounding His birth. We hope, above all, that everyone who joins us for this event walks away with the Savior’s love in their hearts and a greater desire to follow Him,” said Jason Isaacson, a leader for the Latter-day Saints in the Chattanooga area.
Hilarie Robison, co-director at the Signal Mountain location, added, “It's such a joy to provide this powerful Christmas tradition for our community. With a Saturday matinee time added this year, we hope even more of our friends and neighbors will be able to pause amidst the busy-ness of the season to join us. For me, the holiday rush and stress melts away when I focus on the sacred wonder of the first Christmas, on Jesus Christ as the Light of the World.”
Kathy Wolfe, The Nativity co-director at the Ooltewah location, has been working closely with various artisans, craftsmen, seamstresses and tailors to bring ancient Bethlehem to life.
“Preparing for this year's Christmas Nativity event has truly been a labor of love through our focus on Jesus Christ. We hope this experience will bring feelings of peace and joy in the miracle of His birth, and feelings of comfort and hope,” she said.
Musical selections will be provided in the chapel as attendees wait for their tour to begin. Afterward, guests may enjoy light refreshments and discover ways to support nonprofits and other community organizations in Chattanooga and North Georgia.
According to event organizers, preparations for The Nativity began as early as this past July. Volunteers from all 13 congregations of the Church of Jesus Christ in the greater-Chattanooga area donated time, talents and resources to bring it to life.
For more information, visit: facebook.com/chattlatterdaysaints. The Nativity organizers encourage interested members of the public to “like” The Nativity’s Facebook Event.