The life of Jesus in Christmas lights

lights flogging
What’s this? Why,it’s an animated Christmas light Jesus flogging. Frankly, I find this display a disconcerting piece of Americana.

The above picture is part of an annual spectacle in Blue Springs, Missouri. Guided by smiling gingerbread men, visitors drive through a subdivision and see lights that depict the life of Jesus–everything from his birth to his resurrection. At the end, a kid approaches each car with a donation bucket, rewarding contributors with a small candy cane. Weird, huh?

The pictures below were made possible by the ever-patient J. Bubbles, who incurred the wrath of other sightseers by making frequent stops as we traveled along the route.

No room at the inn:

lights no room
Baby Jesus in the manger:

lights manger
Baptism of Jesus:

lights baptism
Palm Sunday:

lights palm
Last supper:

lights supper
Turn here!

lights gingerbread
Jesus is betrayed:

lights betrayed
Jesus is flogged:

lights flogging
Jesus’ tomb:

lights risen
What’s this? Is the rock moving?

lights rock moving

lights ta da

24 responses to “The life of Jesus in Christmas lights”

  1. Tintil

    Wow – that is one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen!

    I wonder who gets Judas outside their porch for the whole of the festive season? Do you think it rotates on a yearly basis or are they appointed based on their popularity in the neighbourhood?

    Also, I don’t recall the part in the scriptures which said: “And lo, as Jesus was baptised a parrot came to rest on John the Baptist’s enormous breast.” Perhaps I wasn’t paying enough attention in class….

  2. Tom

    The real WTF is, WTF are you doing in Missouri?

  3. Dana

    well you know where i stand–and even i find this -ummmm
    tacky and completely innappropriate


  4. Theresa

    whoa nelly.

    uh, I get the parrot, but what about the gingerbread man? is he to symbolize “run! run! fast as you can!” right before the betrayal?

  5. Michelle

    Happy New Year! Many wishes for a blessed, healthy, and successful 2005!


  6. Melinda

    Wow. I live only about 10 miles from Blue Springs and had NO IDEA. Most Missourians see the lights at Longview Lake which are very nice. Santas, ice skaters, winter scenes…

  7. Dylan

    Is it just me, or does the stone have a smiley face?

  8. Princess Wild Cow

    And just when I thought I had seen it all.

  9. Thom Kriner

    Oh please… but why would the story of Christ be untasteful at Christmas time? Are you guys that ‘out of touch’ with the Christian message that only happy thoughts are aloud?

    Please explain to me why you think it’s un-tasteful or disconcerting?

  10. Becky

    Hi Thom,

    It’s the flogging that I find disconcerting–the rest is just odd.

    Sure, I find it disconcerting (regardless of the context) to see this act of violence depicted in someone’s front yard, especially in a medium that is–like it or not–generally reserved for “happy thoughts.”

  11. Heather

    Um. Well. Sure you don’t live in Mississippi?

  12. Heather

    The gingerbread man was caught and eaten by the gator.

  13. Z

    At the risk of sounding blasphemous, I am surprised they didnt have the last neon image of “God giving it to Mary”

  14. Sassy J

    Quite a discussion you’ve got going on this one. I’m interested to see that the whole community banded together for the display–and that their entire houses are in darkness–no lights on at the Inn–no other Christmas decorations (except for the ginger bread man enticing you towards scenes of flagellation). It is curious to see the stations of the cross–part of Easter and lent during Christmas and advent. Do you think they display them at Easter as well? The manger scene and Inn scene are appropriate–maybe the other neighbors just needed more scenes, so they kept going.

  15. Clair

    Nice post you typed there Z. Do you hug you mother with those hands?

  16. Dan Roth - Pastor of Disaster

    The Life of Jesus in Christmas Lights

    One of my favorite blogs these days (as if I didn’t just start reading blogs recently, despite having been online for 22 years), is “Good Grief! Does This Blog Make My Butt Look Big?” by Fishtown’s own Becky S. She doesn’t put her last name online, so n

  17. dan pulliam

    hey z my family and i are really impressed with the lights and the courage it took for these lights!!! thank you for such a beautiful display, and GOD bless you and all the families involved with the lights.

  18. W Sanders

    You dumb hicks, it’s CHRISTMAS, not EASTER!

  19. Nick Payne


    And I thought me blasting “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” out on my car stereo during Hallow’een was a bit weird.

    I truly am disturbed by these though… shudder.

    I’m almost surprised there isn’t a crucifixion one, an ascension one… or some apocalyptic ones.

  20. Missouri Mule

    I live 20 miles away. If only I’d known! Who wouldn’t want to see Jesus flogged to lights? YeeHaw!!

  21. Mary

    The life of Jesus is inappropriate to display during Christmas? It’s not Santa’s birth we’re celebrating, here!

  22. Willy

    Typical Americana style
    “Kitsch as kitsch can”.
    I’m just missing another GOD-like figure: A praying ‘HOLY DUBYA’
    He would fit in there, wouldn’t he?

    Merry Kitschmas!!!

  23. Bob

    What the HELL were you thinking!!! What ever weirdo put this in their yard is so stupid!!! I’m pretty sure God has a special place in heaven for idiots like you!!! Merry CHRISTmas

  24. anonymous

    I feel sorry for the poor Jewish guy who got the resurrection scene in his front yard.