The Nativity story has been retold in churches and sermons around Christmas time for centuries. Now that society has reached the digital age, web savvy creators are retelling the story in unique ways to a widening audience.
Two viral videos surmising what the story might have looked like if social media were around in Biblical times are among the most popular renditions. Also, a Twitter feed, @Natwivity, regales followers with the story during the month of December with posts of under 140 characters several times an hour.
A SOCIAL NETWORK CHRISTMAS
This four-minute retelling provides powerful insights into the biblical account, featuring mainly Facebook posts from the central characters of the story.
With a stirring rendition of “O Come Emmanuel” by Folk Angel, the short film begins with Joseph signing into his Facebook account and ends with a post declaring the name of the child.
Shot using screen-recording software, producer Igniter Media shows remarkable attention to detail and honors both the craft and the Nativity story with the film.
IF JESUS WERE BORN IN TIMES OF GOOGLE, FACEBOOK AND TWITTER
In a similar form and style, this Excentric production tells the story through the major social media platforms. It is more light-hearted than “A Social Network Christmas” and owns several laugh-out-loud moments (On the Google Map directions to Bethlehem, the user clicks “Avoid Romans” in place of “Avoid Tolls.”)
The film is not as dogmatic as other retellings and is decidedly more “fun.” At tens of thousands of views, the 2010 production appeals to a wide variety of viewers.
Natwivity is a daily Twitter feed that began Dec. 1 and shares the Nativity story with brief tweets assuming the thought processes of the story’s characters. It is the product of a collaboration between Share Collective and the Evangelical Society.
Here’s a recent passage in which Mary and Joseph share thoughts about Jesus’ conception. A non-biblical character named "Basil" who apparently directs the expectant parents to a stable.
#Mary: The new kingdom can’t come like this, the prince of wholeness can’t be born to two homeless outcasts.
#Joseph: This is a disaster. I’ve messed up so badly.
#Mary: What kind of king is born into this kind of poverty and disgrace?
#Basil: The stable! That’s it. Yes! They can sleep there. I'll do it in secret, no one will know who I've let in.
#Joseph: Could be worse. Possibly.
#Mary Curling up amongst the hay and animals. How can it be like this? I’m sorry baby King, I’m sorry little light.
The Natwivity feed is expected to run through Christmas.