This anticipated service was attended to overflowing by our regular Congregation, friends and family of the children and by folk who simply wanted to be there.
The service opened with a welcome and Call to Service by Brian Smith, with the lighting of the Advent Candles for Advent 3 led by Matsa and Sean Muchenje.
Our first hymn was “Hills of the North Rejoice” followed by Prayers of Adoration, Confession and Thanksgiving.
We then had the Bible reading from Isaiah Chapter 9, verses 2; 6-7, read by Sheila Nelson.
The Nativity Play began. It advertised itself as a “Rock Nativity” and an immediate innovation was seen on the large display screens with the words “Episode 1”, followed by an imitation of the opening sequence of the film “Star Wars IV, a New beginning”, with the words of the introduction receding into the screen, voiced over by the clear and agreeable tones of Astley Jones, who also provided intermittent commentary for the various mimed scenes during the play.
The action began with the Angel Gabriel (played by Eddie) bringing the unexpected news of her impending and special Motherhood to Mary (played by Catriona), who then broke the News to an understandably shocked Joseph (played by Robin). They then sang “Everything I do”, initially with Catriona solo, then as a duet.
The next part of the Nativity was titled “ We are Wise-Ones (Part 1)” and introduced Adam, Couvin and Eleanor playing the parts of the Wise Men and singing “We are Wise Men”. They were replaced on stage by the more junior members of our Sunday School, appearing as Angels, singing “Twinkle, twinkle, star so bright” ably prompted by Don Astley.
Then Nathaniel sang “Shepherd Boy”, unaccompanied but joined on stage by various shepherds who had obviously seen their sheep in the Congregation and were signalling to them.
Then Eddie (Angel Gabriel) performed and sang “Livin’ for the Saviour”, thronged by other rockin’ Angels.
“We are Wise-Ones (Part 2)” had Melchior, Caspar and Balthasar coming before Herod (played to perfection by Nicole).
Tobias came on stage next, as a suitably unfriendly Innkeeper, singing “Beat It!” quite brilliantly. Then came the song “Shining Star” with the principals opening by singing one line each, then accompanied by the Assembly of Shepherds, Angels and various animals. Almost seamlessly, we then slipped into the traditional “Away in a Manger”, the Nativity being closed by the song “When children rule the World”, sung by all the cast.
Derek Clarke then came to the pulpit and rightly said “how do you follow that?” He did though with a meditation on Isaiah Chapter 9, foretelling the coming of the Saviour – “the inextinguishable light which shows through the darkness and which even crucifixion cannot put out”.
We next had our Prayers of Intercession led by Steph Shipley, followed by the Lord’s Prayer.
Our final hymn was “Tell out my Soul”, followed by a blessing offered by everyone to each and every one of us, and so ended a most memorable Nativity Service.
Extra special thanks should go to Ben Latham who devised the Nativity. Thanks also to the members of Junior Church, the Junior Church staff and parents for all their hard work and support.
Kindly written by Joe Leighton