Who knew that the baby Jesus was born in “Bethle-ha-ha-ham,” or that the shepherds camped out in a tent on their way to visit the Christ child?
At least, that’s the version the kids tell in a 3-minute video that Southland Christian Church posted on Facebook last Christmas Eve.
Since then, the video has gone viral. It had received nearly 24 million views and been shared more than 618,000 times on Facebook by Saturday night.
A story by Today.com this week has helped boost viewership.
The video features adults acting out the parts of Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, wise men, the star and sheep. Their voices are dubbed by children telling the story.
The angel Gabriel is portrayed by Southland Lead Follower Jon Weece, also known as the church’s pastor.
The video has some memorable lines.
Mary sweetly tells the new baby, “Thank you for coming,” while Joseph looks down at him and says, “I love you and you the best baby I ever seen. There, I said it.”
The wise men bring gold, “Frankenstein” and myrrh. Or, in an alternate telling, Jesus gets a stuffed animal, diapers, wipes and a gallon of milk. One kid surmises that the baby also received “some shoes, some Jordans.”
In response to requests for a followup installment, the church made an Easter video in the same style last spring.
Southland Creative Director Hanna Wahlbrink told Today that the Christmas video was unscripted and that the church has heard from people all over the country and beyond in response to it.
“We’re reaching people in a different way that we ever expected,” she said in the interview.
Southland has campuses on Richmond Road in Lexington and in Danville and Georgetown, in addition to its main campus on Harrodsburg Road in Jessamine County.