“I am writing a weekly pre-advent reflection for you, the cast and crew in order that together, we may reflect on the reason we are putting in such great effort to share the story of Jesus’ birth. My prayer is that God would prepare OUR hearts as conduits for his Spirit. That He would minister to us and gently pull us away from the busyness of our days and call us into a quiet space with Him. My prayer is that you would draw near to God in preparation for this event. That you will sense His presence and Love for you in a compelling way that ignites the desire to communicate that Love and the Hope He brings effectively to others this Christmas season. My prayer is that our presentation of His birth story would be so genuine, so sincere and so natural that it would inspire those who do not yet know Christ, or have walked away from His presence, to draw near.” -Erica 

WEEK 3: That your JOY may be complete….

1 John 1:1-4

“We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life. This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us. We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his son, Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that our joy, and your joy, may be complete.”

Is this where the Christmas season sentiment “comfort and joy” comes from? If it is, we lost that thread somewhere between wrapping paper, hot chocolate and Christmas lights.

If you read all the lyrics of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – it is a clear account of the real Christmas story, and this story does bring comfort and joy! We are not left alone in this world to fight our battles.

God rest ye merry gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember Christ our Savior
Was born on Christmas Day
To save us all from Satan’s pow’r
When we were gone astray

Oh tidings of comfort and joy
Comfort and joy
Oh tidings of comfort and joy

In Bethlehem, in Israel
This blessed Babe was born
And laid within a manger
Upon this blessed morn
The which His Mother Mary
Did nothing take in scorn

Oh tidings of comfort and joy
Comfort and joy
Oh tidings of comfort and joy

Fear not then, said the Angel
Let nothing you affright
This day is born a Savior
Of a pure Virgin bright
To free all those who trust in Him
From Satan’s pow’r and might

Oh tidings of comfort and joy
Comfort and joy
Oh tidings of comfort and joy

We have taken “Joy!” and diminished it to fleeting happiness. We have made it a sticker to paste over the entire Christmas season, instead of letting it drive our Christmas sentiments from the inside – from the very core of us and the center of the Christmas story. That our joy, YOUR JOY, may be complete. Complete and full joy in the knowledge that Christ came to save us from our sins. End. Of. Story. No bows, wrappings or trappings. No neat and clean, glittery nativity scene. No marshmallows in peppermint hot chocolate or gifts exchanged under a tree.

The one and only True Joy is the knowledge that Jesus Christ offers us freedom from a life of guilt, shame, brokenness, sinful patterns and eternal separation from God. He offers us redemption, restoration, and relief in the context of real relationship. This is comfort. This is joy.

What a gift! Joy is a true gift. THE true gift. Don’t be swindled out of its impact this week or this season. Don’t neglect the gift that was given to you, but let that gift shine brightly. Share the gift of True Joy with others. That is why we are telling this story together. That is the goal.

“We are sharing these things so that you may fully share our joy.”

Previous Advent Readings


Light & Life creates a unique opportunity to work with community members and people from other churches to present an artistic portrayal of Christ’s birth. This will be the third year for our Living Nativity, and each year the presentation is different, based on the location and community hosting us.

In the early spring of 2023, Farmer Kathy, who graciously lends us her animals each year, asked if Honest Imprint would consider holding the nativity at Flint Hill Farm. This opportunity is different than any we have had before! The sheltered space will allow us to leave our equipment overnight and offer more than one presentation for community members to attend and enjoy. Moreover, we will physically be IN a stable… A very, very large stable, but a stable nonetheless. Our 2023 presentation will feel more intimate, with most of the action, and some of the music, taking place in the middle of the audiences’ seating area. It will be as if they are gathered with us, experiencing the highs, lows and anticipation of this miraculous event – and they will come face to face with our cast of characters in a different way than in years past. Our theme is Hope Has Come – and the script and songs are all geared towards communicating the message that Jesus is our Hope in this dark world. This is truly a great opportunity to make personal invitations to neighbors and friends across communities to attend. If you are not participating, sit with them as the story unfolds. What better way to start the Christmas season?

As with every year, my goal is to make your commitment mangable. If each person does what they need to prepare, attends their rehearsals and plays their role or contributes their skills, the weight of the responsibility is shared and God brings all these gifts together in a beautiful way. Each role is needed – those in the center of the scene and those working behind the scene weeks in advance.

I am grateful for what each of you has to offer and can’t wait to see how God knits us all together for His Glory!


Thanks for your interest in being part of the cast & crew of Living Nativity! If you haven’t yet, please take a minute to check out the Rehearsal Calendar below. Unless noted, all rehearsals will be at Calvary Bible Fellowship Church in Coopersburg. We’ll have more details and updates in the weeks ahead.