While many across America get sucked into the commercial mindset and consumerism, forgetting the true story of Christmas in the process, a collection of non-profits led by the Mormon Church combined forces on November 27 to turn the center of American consumerism, Times Square, into a place to go to see and learn the true story of Jesus.
They did so by renting and dedicating all of the 27 Times Square billboards to telling the Christmas story, with nine non-profits led by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints organizing and paying for the incredible Christmastime event.
The November 27 event began with the screens across the square plunging into darkness and then relighting moments later, filled with images of Jesus Christ and the Nativity scene of his birth, along with an invitation for all across the world to light the world. It said, “This Christmas share His light by letting your light shine.”
Continuing, the billboards went on to present the illuminated lyrics to the famous Christmas carol “Silent Night,” with the billboards presenting the lyrics in a variety of languages, encouraging people in the heart of downtown New York to join in singing the heartwarming Christmas carol.
Then, the billboards cut from the Christmas carol lyrics to images of the Holy Family on Christmas, reminding audiences of the reason for the season and the true importance of Christmas, and important message in so consumeristic a place in a holiday that has, sadly, gradually become far more materialist-focused than religion-focused.
In any case, the powerful event went on for 30 minutes. During that time, the billboards mainly focused on the Christmas story and Nativity scene, telling a narrative of what happened as the billboards played depictions of Christ’s birth, angels announcing His being bord to the shepherds and their flocs, and the Magi journeying to see Jesus for themselves.
Describing the incredible event, observer Cameron Kelly said that the message “had a lot of love in it. … To see depictions and the Nativity in the epicenter of the center of the universe felt amazing.” Continuing, Kelly added that it is easy to get caught up in trivial things in the modern world, saying, “So to see something meaningful and eternal in this space … felt hopeful.”
Commenting on the incredible event in a post on X, the Church of Latter Day Saints said, “Visitors to Times Square were in for a surprise on Nov. 27 as its famous billboards became a larger-than-life tribute to the true reason for Christmas: Jesus Christ.
Continuing, they then went on to say, “The billboard takeover at Times Square in New York City was part of Light the World, an annual movement to bring people from all over the world together to share the light of Jesus Christ during the Christmas season. The beautiful nativity scene that emerged from the blackout was a tender reminder of the Savior’s birth and why we need His light and love in our lives.”
Watch the video they put out of the powerful event here:
Featured image credit: screengrab from the embedded video
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