A photo depicting a handmade painting of a Nativity scene on the front windows of a Spring Hill, Tenn., McDonald's restaurant located on Main Street went viral on social media because it was accompanied by the words "Rejoice, His name is Jesus," taking some people aback.
The photo was posted by Amy Basel on her Facebook page, stating, "Drove by and did a double-take. Growing up in the mitten (Michigan), you would NEVER see this. Tennessee McDonald's...you made my day. 'His name is Jesus.'"
Basel is a writer and speaker who co-founded a ministerial nonprofit called Your Path His Plan.
WZTV in Nashville spoke with Gina Wolfe, the co-owner of the McDonald's spotlighted in the photo. She and her husband Tony own three Spring Hill locations, as well as locations in Columbia and Mt. Pleasant, according to the station.
Wolfe said the community has "embraced" their Christmas themes on the storefronts ever since they started sharing them: "We have so many people tell us it really kicks off the season for them when they see it on our stores. We are so pleased people enjoy it."
She said her McDonald's restaurants are a family business that has been owned and operated by her family for four decades. "My dad started this 40 years ago when he had a local art student paint it on his store. My husband and I have been owners for 28 years, and we've done this or something similar during Christmas each year. I guess with social media, it's taken off," Wolfe told WZTV.
All of Wolfe's McDonald's restaurants have the Nativity scene on the front of the location each year, she told the station. Paintings on the restaurants' sides vary, usually consisting of characters such as Charlie Brown, "Frozen" icons, or any other seasonal favorites. This annual Christmas paintings' tradition has grown so large, she said they had to hire people to paint them.
Wolfe said she and her husband are thankful to be living in the mid-state where people are so friendly. "It's just an amazing place to live no matter what part of town you choose. It's all about the community."
Chantal Clarke thanked Basel for posting the photo. "In this world where people are afraid to even say Christmas, let alone acknowledge the real reason it exists, it is a real pleasure to see this. Jesus is truly the reason and I commend the owners of this McDonald's franchise for keeping the faith and displaying it so proudly. Amen!!"'
Basel blogged it all boils down to this simple matter: "We are currently living in a world where talking about Jesus is considered offensive and painting a nativity scene upon a McDonald's is deemed as dangerous and radical. I beg to differ on those beliefs and instead I want to applaud co-owner Gina Wolfe for being the example of a Christian living out publicly what she believes inwardly."
"It's about being bold, in love, for what you believe in, despite what others may say. That's what I stand for, and that is why I shared the picture. I'm glad this specific McDonald's is gaining the coverage they deserve, and I am proud that God is receiving the glory for what He offered us through His Son, Jesus...and that is eternal everlasting life. That is what it's all about, and that is why we celebrate Christmas," Basel said.