It was a perfect Christmas backdrop for California when Bethel Church in San Jose premiered its annual “Christmas Spectacular”, it was freezing outside, drizzling rain, and people bundled up in their gear. Inside it was toasty, roasty, and warm which was a perfect contrast to the outside atmosphere.
The people of Bethel were out in force greeting in the nature that exemplified the Christmas spirit. One would be hard pressed not to marvel at the warmth and genuine pleasure each person conveyed that let one know their presence was greatly valued and appreciated. It is difficult to have a small town atmosphere in the big city, but Bethel replicated it quite nicely.
The décor of the church interior was decorated with Christmas items as the main sanctuary’s platform presented three tremendously large video screens that displayed messages and events to the crowd, a reminder that the church platform due to electronics has undergone a radical change compared to what one would expect for a religious sanctuary. It was quite impressive, but could it also be personable?
The evening was kicked off by announcements and general housekeeping that would help everyone enjoy the Christmas program which lasted 90 minutes as promised. There was a well-placed intermission which allowed for the normal routines associated with an intermission. Logistically, everything was well thought out and executed from the moment one drove on to the church property, to the moment one left. Everything done was marvelously efficient.
There was a delightful variety of Christmas entertainment one would expect from a religious organization, packed full with twists and turns as a plethora of talent of Bethel’s people was showcased beautifully. There was a wonderful blend of traditional Christmas songs, entertaining videos, and audience participation exercises that enthralled those that were there.
The professionalism would rival any other entertainment venue in the Silicon Valley. There were many highlights, however to not spoil the surprise element in Bethel’s “Christmas Spectacular”, several general comments are worth noting concerning the program.
There is a clever mix of live and videoed skits, and one particular singing mix of Bing Crosby’s song of “White Christmas” was expertly done with a live female vocalist blending in. The finishing part of “White Christmas” brought the house down as the booming voice rivaled anything heard since Julie Andrews’ “Sound of Music”.
There were moments of side splitting fun as an audience participation of the “Twelve Days of Christmas” was brilliantly pulled off to the delight and enthusiastic response from the audience which built the energy to an incredible level, well, at least for the Friday evening December 6th performance. One would bet the other performances did quite well too.
Christmas would not be Christmas without a well thought out nativity scene depicting the birth of Christ over 2000-years ago. Jesus still is the reason for the season, and it is gratifying Bethel did not compromise on that issue. The overall theme of “Come Just As You Are” was well presented in both activity and a song reflecting the very message of coming to Christ. It was not overdone and it was a compelling message.
You cannot beat the wholesome, thoughtful, and well delivered entertainment that the production of Bethel put together. There are other performance scheduled for the Christmas season and it is well worth the effort to go to www.bethel.org and click on the icon “Christmas Spectacular” to obtain the performance times. You cannot beat the entertainment, which is free.
You will never look a fruit cake the same way again!!