Tunkhannock United Methodist Church Invites Community to “Journey to Bethlehem”

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TUNKHANNOCK, Pa. -- A holiday reenactment so large that traffic had to be directed around it took place Friday night in Wyoming County.

A church in Tunkhannock put on an interactive play to reenact how the parents of Jesus, Mary and Joseph ended up in Bethlehem.

“Our first stop will be at the home of Caesar Augustus,” said the volunteer tour guide, acting as Luke, an apostle of Jesus.

People piled onto wagons lined with haystacks to witness the events that led the parents of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, to travel to the place of the infant's birth.

Called “Journey to Bethlehem”, this is the third year the Tunkhannock United Methodist Church has produced this free interactive play in Tunkhannock.

“The lands that we are traveling on are ruled by Romans,” explained Luke.

First stop: to Caesar`s where he orders a census be taken to collect taxes.

“Let each man return to his place of birth and render to Caesar what is due Caesar,” decrees Caesar.

Then onto the Virgin Mary's house, where an angel tells her this:

“You will be with child and give birth a son and you are to name him Jesus,” informed the angel.

Then a visit to Joseph's house, where an angel tells him not to abandon Mary.

“Joseph, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife for what was conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.”

Joseph and Mary set off for his birth home of Bethlehem for the census.

Once there the tired couple is having no luck with finding a room.

“How about the cave out back where we keep the animals?” suggests the innkeeper’s wife to her husband.

And this is how the baby Jesus was born in a manger.

The holy moment is celebrated with a song as a chorus sings “Christ is Born”.

“I like how they were interactive with us, when they came for, when the Romans came for our taxes and the census,” said Michelle Young of Tunkhannock.

“I thought it was a wonderful presentation,” said Don Young. “I liked the fact they had people singing and stuff as it went along. I thought it was a very nice thing.”

For folks waiting to take the ride, they could stay warm inside the church and pass the time watching a movie.

“It was very well organized and hopefully we`ll be able to do it next year,” said Mike Pisa from New York.

The Tunkhannock United Methodist Church will be hosting journey to Bethlehem for one more night.

It's set for Saturday night from 6 to 9 pm

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