Harvest Baptist Church to hold annual ‘Festival of Lights’

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The event's theme is "The Christmas Experience" and it will be focused on the birth of Jesus Christ.

The Harvest Baptist Church is hosting its 11th annual “Festival of Lights” event and it will be done via drive-thru this week.

The event’s theme is “The Christmas Experience” and it will be focused on the birth of Jesus Christ.

Roman Centurions will be lining the campus as you drive through the sights and sounds of Bethlehem leading up to the living nativity.

Bryan Lenartz, the Assistant Pastor of Harvest Baptist Church, said the event’s goal is to have everyone experience the use of all five senses, except for touch, because of the pandemic.

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The sights include a Jewish potter molding clay, a Jewish priest reading Hebrew from his scroll, weavers preparing for a normal day, a baker preparing food for the town, a candle maker trying to make a living, the in-keeper who is fully booked, and shepherds as they marvel at the news they’ve heard.

According to Pastor Lenartz, the event normally has over 2,000 participants, and but they anticipate only 800 attendees this year because of COVID-19.

Pastor Lenartz said the event is free and is a way of showing the community they’re loved.

“On a personal level, I think if anything right now, our island needs a message of hope and encouragement because a lot of people forget that the first Christmas was a little bit messy. You have a young Jewish girl who was told that she is with a child. If she walks into Nazareth and tells everyone, hey, a child from the Holy Ghost, she can risk being stoned to death for blasphemy and she is espoused to a man… we don’t know how long she knew Joseph… she has to leave everything she knows, family and friends… to travel 70 miles down to Bethlehem… and it’s amazing the most amazing significant event in human history,” the pastor said.

He added: “We recognize on our island that you must be going through a rough financial or personal situation. We want this time to be a message of hope, promise, and hope that you walk out inspired by the greatest gift that God ever gave which was his son to pay for our sins.”

The event is open to the public and set to take place Friday, December 18th through Sunday, December 20th, from 6 to 9 pm.

The church invites the community to the event and reminds you to wear a mask and be safe.

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