Eagle Church Brings Nativity to Life

January 08, 2017 | JoAnn McKey

Nearly 1,600 guests toured the town of “Bethlehem” when the Eagle (Idaho) Church portrayed a live nativity the first weekend in December 2016. Sixty-seven costumed actors told the Christmas story as visitors progressed through the guarded gate and on toward the tax collector’s tent, where many chose to pay "taxes” with canned goods, thereby contributing 369 pounds of food to the Idaho Food Bank.

As the visitors moved into the village, they encountered a potter shaping pots on her wheel; a prophet foretelling the Messiah; a woman dipping water from a well; vendors selling baskets, carpets, produce and bread; a scribe distributing scrolls of Scripture; wool spinners making yarn; a carpenter contending with customers; and a café serving hummus and pita bread. With both inns filled to capacity, the travelers found their way out to the shepherds, where a holographic angel announced the glad news and sent them to the stable. After visiting Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus, everyone was greeted by a wise man and several child-friendly animals.

Inside the church, visitors listened to live Christmas music, attended a puppet show, made crafts and enjoyed hot soup. Members of the community, some of whom have made the live nativity a Christmas tradition, expressed their appreciation for the event’s focus on the Savior.