INFORUM.com | WDAZ.com

WDAY: The News Leader

Published December 12, 2013, 10:40 PM

Valley City church continues tradition of performing live nativity story

Valley City, ND (WDAY TV) - People come from miles around to see it. A live nativity story in Valley City has become a tradition and a Christmas gift to the community.

By: Becky Parker, WDAY

Valley City, ND (WDAY TV) - People come from miles around to see it.

A live nativity story in Valley City has become a tradition and a Christmas gift to the community.

They call it the "Journey Through Christmas."

First Church of the Nazarene started this tradition nine years ago more than a hundred church members and live animals bring the story to life.

A church in Valley City takes you on a journey through what Christmas is really about.

Fred Morrison/Pastor: "It's a huge effort every year. We view it as our Christmas gift to the community."

Each year, First Church of the Nazarene puts on this live depiction of the birth of Jesus Christ.

Six scenes set up in the neighborhood around the church bring spectators through Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem.

Morrison: "Christmas is really a lot about Santa Claus in different places and in our area that's a lot of emphasis, but we want to lift up the biblical message of Christmas."

Hundreds of cars drive through, listening to a CD narrate each scene as they go by.

Ron Graalum has been a part of it from the very beginning.

He says many people come from out of town just to see the display.

Ron Graalum/Church Member: "Try and get it as real as we can, based off the bible."

That includes bringing in livestock to play some of the roles, a donkey or pony to bring Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem a manger full of animals.

Chrissy Borg/Playing “Mary”: "There has been some different stories. Sometimes they run away partway through, but it just really brings it to life."

But the story doesn't end with the birth of Jesus, in Christianity, that's really just the beginning.

So one final scene carries on the story.

Graalum: "Jesus is risen at the end, when he is shown in bright, that he rose from the dead. Something about that scene just gives me Holy Ghost goose bumps, if you will."

Borg: "Just to give back to the community this awesome gift, the story of Jesus. What better way?"

There are 30 characters in each scene, and two of each character so they can take breaks from the cold.

"Journey Through Christmas" continues Friday night at seven o'clock.

Tags: