The G.O.A.T. Manger Scene
Our church had organized a unique Christmas community outreach event with a creative twist. We decided to break down a traditional Christmas cantata into seven different scenes, placing each one in various rooms throughout the church. Community members could sign up for free tickets to take a guided tour narrating the Christmas story. We called it a “Christmas Walk-Thru Experience.” It turned out to be a lot of fun and a significant amount of work, and as with any live event, there were some unexpected surprises along the way.
In one of the rooms, we set up a scene with Joseph singing the song “Mary Did You Know” in a makeshift manger. The goal was to create a serene ambiance with a moonlit cave setting, where Mary would hold baby Jesus, and Joseph would sing the contemplative lyrics.
“Mary, did you know… that your baby boy will one day walk on water?”
Just as Joseph sang the word “water,” the live goat positioned right next to him decided it was the perfect time to relieve itself of every drop of liquid in its furry little body. The timing couldn’t have been worse! At first, the children in the room couldn’t help but chuckle, and the adults attempted to maintain their composure. But this goat had apparently been saving up for this grand moment. As Joseph moved into verse 2 of the song, the goat was still going strong. By this point, even the adults were struggling to contain their laughter. This poor goat had an entire audience watching as it did its business. Finally, just as Joseph began verse 3, the goat finished its business, leaving Joseph standing in a puddle of goat juice as he sang, “This sleeping child you’re holding is the Great, the Great I Am.”
Joseph’s unexpected encounter with the goat during the Christmas walk-through may well have become one of the “G.O.A.T.” memories of the event, thanks to its unforgettable moment. It was a moment filled with irony. The lyrics state that God is indeed the “Great I Am.” In Exodus, when God revealed His name as “I am who I am” to Moses, He declared His eternal and unchanging nature. No one else has this character of greatness. In fact, God’s greatness surpasses everything — the Greatest Of All Time (G.O.A.T.)
“God said to Moses, ‘I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.”‘”