Born TO YOU this day. . .An Interactive Nativity

JosephToday in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  Luke 2:11

Two of those words just jump right out to me as I prepare for the Christmas holiday:  TO YOU!  Christ’s birth is meant to be interactive!

Here’s one of my all time favorite stories from our past ministry. . .

We had just planted a non-denominational church in a very denominational town.  There was a great deal of suspicion about whether we were “legit” or not.  Because I was the low man on the pastoral totem poll, our church got the job for the city-wide Christmas celebration that no one else wanted…staffing the living nativity.  I did want any red-blooded pastor would do, I delegated the responsibility to my newly appointed youth workers.

What could go wrong?

Our lead youth worker was relatively unchurched.  And he had never done a live nativity before.  This southern gentleman was now given the huge responsibility of playing Joseph.  Everything looked fine the night of the performance.  We had great costumes, a real baby, and even live animals.

As the people started to gather and look at the beauty of the nativity, it became apparent that no one had told “Joseph” that living nativities were to be seen and not heard!  He started interacting with the crowd. . .

“Ya’ll want to see my baby boy?”  

I knew this was going to be a very different experience when I heard him say:  “Would you like to hold him?”

I was just VERY glad that he didn’t have cigars!

Here’s the TRUTH. . .Christ’s birth is meant to be interactive!  Today a Savior has been born TO YOU!!!!!!

He is forever in the present tense and He is meant to be experienced.  In fact, he would like to hold you!


About Rich Stevenson

Rich is the Executive Director of The Malachi Network (, a ministry focused on making the name of the LORD great among the nations. This network serves young leaders in missions and church planting. Prior to his present ministry, Rich pastored in Southern New Jersey, planted a church in Wilmore, KY, established a network of churches, served as an adjunct professor at Asbury College and was a senior leader at The International House of Prayer in Kansas City, MO as well as The International House of Prayer in Atlanta, GA. Rich is the author of two books: Secrets of the Spiritual Life—10 Lessons from the One Thing Passages (Baker Books, 2003) A Voice from Home—The Words You Long to Hear from Your Father (WaterBrook Press, 2005) He graduated from Asbury College in 1984 with a BA degree in Philosophy of Religion and Asbury Theological Seminary in 1987 with a Master of Divinity degree. In 2010, Rich received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Union Biblical Seminary in Yangon, Myanmar. Rich has been married to Tania since 1982 and they have been blessed by amazing children: Zachary and his wife Meghan, Jacob and his wife Lena, Jessica and Corrie Emma.
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