Wednesday, 12 October 2011

First UMC Tullahoma to host nativity exhibit for eighth year

nat1.jpgFor the eighth year, First United Methodist Church in Tullahoma (MAP) will host an exhibit of over 300 nativity scenes and Christmas angels. Diversity of depiction is at the heart of this exhibit. Some of the nativity sets are simple, while others are elaborate. Some were discovered in distant lands; others were purchased at the local discount store. From mud figures to fine porcelains the crèches represented are as diverse as the homes from which they come. Regardless of their origin, style or composition, all serve a single purpose - to remind the Christian of a miraculous birth over 2000 years ago. It is the universality of the story that renders significance and value.

Imagine: “In my mind’s eye, I am standing at the door of the stable, quiet and reverent, careful not to disturb the sublimely beautiful scene within. Silently, I enter and find a dark corner from which to observe without being observed. I am aware that I am kneeling on freshly cut hay, the fragrance of which contrasts with the scent of cattle, sheep and one very tired donkey. The images before me are bathed in an incredible light: brilliant, not blinding, but rather warm and comforting. My attention is drawn to the faces of those surrounding the manger. Never have I seen such expressions of adoration and reverence. Only dear little Mary’s face bears any trace of foreshadowing. And then my gaze comes to rest on the Babe in the manger, and I behold the face of love.The hope of the ages lies before me on a bed of hay, and the understanding that floods my soul.”

For hundreds of years, Christians have tried to imagine shepherds on bended knee, animals bowing in reverence, the nat2/jpgbrilliance of an incomparable star and the tender vision of a Babe lying in a manger. The mystery of the nativity has inspired artists for centuries and today renderings of the crèche grace many homes and hold a special place in the heart of the believer.

Bathed in candlelight, fragranced by fresh evergreens, and reverberating with the echoes of harp strings, the event is more than a mere display-it is a sensory celebration of the Christmas season.

Our exhibit dates this year are as follows:
Saturday, Dec. 3rd from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Sunday, Dec. 4th from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Monday, Dec. 5th from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Tuesday, Dec. 6th from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

nat3.jpgAdmission to the exhibit is free and open to all.

As you journey through the exhibit, may you experience a personal pilgrimage to the stable in Bethlehem. Please join us and reverently take your place among shepherds, wise men and heavenly hosts, realizing anew the peace that comes from kneeling before a manger which cradles the Christ.

Posted on 10/12/2011 12:01 AM by 1st UMC Tullahoma
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