South Jackson church acts out nativity scene

JACKSON, Tenn.–A local church is acting out the true meaning of Christmas.

Church members at Malesus United Methodist Church got into character of well-known Biblical figures.

“It’s just one of those things, you get to kind of sit and remember what the season is all about,” Malesus United Methodist Church Pastor Travis Penney said.

The church has a tradition dating back several years.

He says the church’s live nativity scene became a staple in the community over the years.

This year, he acts as Joseph.

“We get a lot of folks in the community and folks in the church to come out and take on a role, and help to be a light in the community to remember what Jesus’ birth is all about,” Penney said.

Mary, Joseph, wise men, shepherds, angels, and live animals all gathered around baby Jesus Sunday night, and dozens of cars drove through for a look at the slice of Bethehem.

“It’s just one of those great times to slow down in the midst of such a busy season, a busy time of year, and focus on Jesus and what really matters,” Penney said.

Anna Azbill plays Mary in the nativity scene, and also attends Malesus’ sister church, Bemis United Methodist Church.

“It’s very humbling, and you really have to think about everything that Mary and Joseph went through,” Azbill said. “Like having a baby in a stable because there was no room at an inn.”

She hopes the nativity scene helps educate the children.

“Hopefully they can ask questions to their parents, and it starts conversations about this time of year and what it’s really about,” Azbill said. “This is a season of love, and a season of giving, and remembering why we celebrate.”

Visitors at the live nativity scene also heard spiritual Christmas music as part of the set up.

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