In a day when racism and political oppression are the subject of much public discussion, the Christmas story comes as a welcome breath of fresh air. The birth of Christ marked the beginning of a new age - an age of hope for humanity. It signaled a time when tyrannical kings would be dethroned and oppressed slaves would be set free. It was a season of history where societies were transformed not by laws, but by changed hearts. This child grew up to rock history with his life and teaching, and today's world calendar is calculated based on the day he was born.
To celebrate this great event, on Saturday, 12/16 at 7:00 pm, and on Sunday, 12/17 at 10:00 am, Gateway will be presenting the play, A Child is Born, written in 1940 by the Yale scholar Stephen Vincent Benet, and performed by Alhambra's Mosaic Lizard Theatre Ensemble.
Benet wrote the script during the height of the Nazi occupation of neighboring countries, and wove elements into the Bethlehem narrative that speak to us today. For instance, the innkeeper and his wife represent two responses to oppression - one that appeases the oppressor, and one that resists him. When the Roman prefect enters the inn, saying, "Hail Caesar!", the reluctant innkeeper responds in like kind, much as we would later observe from those who gave in to Hitler's reign.
Two years after his play appeared on national radio, Benet wrote a special prayer that Franklin D. Roosevelt recited on the radio for United Nations Flag Day, saying, "Our earth is but a small star in the great universe. Yet of it we can make, if we choose, a planet unvexed by war, untroubled by hunger or fear, undivided by senseless distinctions of race, color or theory."
It is this dream of the diverse human family living in harmony and love that we celebrate at Gateway Community Church. With Christ as our head, we come together Sunday by Sunday to learn and love, to share and laugh, to help and serve as we accompany each other in our journey of faith. We welcome any of our neighbors in the San Gabriel Valley to join us as well.