It has been busy here at the farm all day, as it has for the past four days. The younger tech guys arrived first, showing up by 10:00 this morning, a little later than usual. Dan, as father and director had let them sleep in since they had been busy till after midnight the night before: bedding down all the animals, cleaning clutter from the trails, putting out fires, and returning all the thermoses and food bins to the kitchen. So a little extra sleep in the morning will give them the energy they need to work through the day and evening on our last day.
About 2:30 the kitchen crew arrives at the farm-house, unloading the frozen soups, cookies, bread and other supplies for this evening’s cast and crew. They will be busy in the kitchen fixing the sandwiches, making hot chocolate, heating up the soups, and filling the bins with cakes, veggies, soups, crackers for the cast that the tech crew will deliver to various stations through the long evening.
At 4:00 the farm explodes with activity. Cars, trucks, and vans begin to arrive, their occupants spilling out as they head across the road to the farm-yard. I love this time of the Bethlehem Revisited days. The farm is transformed from its quiet, mundane existence to a life of vibrant expectancy. Something is about to happen that only God can do.
After the cast puts on their costumes that are hanging in the barn, everyone meets at the foot of the cross, a tall, rugged cross that has been erected for the tour. The cross’s significance brings our attention to the purpose of our message. We meet in total dependence on His grace. The empty tomb, the very next station, reminds us of His victory. As we sing together, “In Christ Alone” we are reminded of the story we are telling . . . and why we are telling it.
In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev’ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.
There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.
After a short biblical reminder and challenge from Dan, both young and old offer spontaneous prayers. We are finally dismissed to our various locations, and as we disperse we sense God’s blessing. He has begun His work of the evening in us first.