manger

A Journey to Bethlehem

On the wintry evenings of December 13 and 14, the Wisconsin Academy campus looked as if it had been transported back in time. It was the site of the 2012 live nativity. This event seemed to envelope the whole campus in industrious activity and excitement. A large majority of the student body was involved. Students played a variety of roles, from Mary in the stable to a spice seller in the marketplace to a prince in Herod’s palace. Many volunteers from the community also helped to set the scene and provide supplies that made every stop on the tour look authentic. The whole production was orchestrated by Greg Edge, one of our Bible teachers at Wisconsin Academy.

The journey began in the marketplace set up outside on campus. Guests were told to register for a tour time, and then were free to explore the many stalls set up in the marketplace. In most of the stalls there was something for them to try. Some of the stalls included the spices booth where they could experiment grinding spices, the fabric seller’s where they could try on a costume from New Testament times, a rabbi’s booth where they could learn to write their names in Hebrew, and many more things to see and do.

When the time came to start the tour, each group would meet with their guide and begin to walk towards the city where they would be registered. Suddenly, Roman soldiers would stop them and demand that they come before Kind Herod. In the king’s extravagant palace, the travelers were told to wait while the king dealt with the three wise men following the star. They witnessed how a very irate king listened to the prophecies about a newborn king with growing anger. Finally, he sent the wise men to find the child and told the group to go and make sure they accomplish their mission.

The journey continued. Just outside of Bethlehem on a hillside the group met shepherds discussing the coming Savior. Suddenly, the night sky was illuminated by angels who told of the new-born king! The shepherds joined the group as everyone rushed towards a nearby inn to see the child king. He, however, was not there. All they found was an irritated innkeeper who insisted he had no idea where the newborn was. Just as they were about to leave the innkeeper’s wife came in and told them that she had to send a couple away to a stable.

The group then moved on to the last leg of their journey. Away from the hustle and bustle of the market place and the worldly greatness of a king’s court they found the child, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. The wise men were kneeling before him and all were filled with a sense of awe as they remembered the day when God came to dwell on earth.

~ Suny Gomez, Class of 2015