The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Carthage, Jasper County

December 21, 2008

Jo Ellis: Light display brighter, better

CARTHAGE, Mo. — It’s larger and more beautiful, with even more shine and sparkle. It’s the annual gift to Carthage and Four-State Area residents from the Congregation of the Mother Co-Redemptrix: the Way of Salvation light display.

Having missed the seasonal attraction last year, I was determined to take the tour this year because I could see, just from driving by, that it had increased in size and scope.

I was not disappointed. Michael Dan, director of the Christmas light display, has added strings of sparkling lights to many more trees, illuminating the seminary campus to a white brilliance. Three-dimensional wire structures form the likenesses of animal and cartoon characters that will delight children of all ages.

By far the most striking displays portray biblical stories and events: Adam and Eve, unaware of the menacing serpent creeping toward them; Jacob’s ladder; the three wise men traveling on their camels toward Bethlehem and the Nativity scene. My favorite illustrations are the animated ones, especially the one in which the stone flung from David’s slingshot arcs the sky and lands squarely on Goliath’s forehead, knocking him end over end. Hurrah for good vs. evil!

Simon Le, CMC spokesman, said several animated displays are making their debut this year, notably a Red Sea that roils and cascades in waves — just waiting to be parted by Moses. There also is a beautiful Christmas candle tree and the Tree of Life from the Garden of Eden. Another animated display is a row of ringing bells, reminiscent of the Salvation Army’s good work at this time of year.

If you are driving through, you will have to look closely for the manger scene. It has been moved a short distance from its usual location and is always in a lower-key lighting.

Text Only
Carthage, Jasper County