In the wintry month of December, during the Christmas season each year,
a nearby church creatively causes the town of Bethlehem to appear.
Not as Bethlehem is seen today, but, instead, how it might have been,
with people of different trades at work; and there’s even the sold-out inn.
Watching a person making pottery or someone doing basket weaving,
or kneading dough for some bread makes you feel you are there and not make-believing.
An actual camel with a rider and some shepherds watching over their sheep…
add to the atmosphere of old Bethlehem as the night turns dark and deep.
“Angels” in white, with golden sashes, and “wise men” in rich-looking attire
also walk among the visitors, who can warm up at a carefully-tended fire.
Hot cider or chocolate are provided, and Christmas carolers are heard…
here and there on the “Bethlehem” grounds, reflecting the joy of God’s Word.
The highlight is the blessed manger scene—or the nativity, as it’s called—
featuring Joseph, Mary, and the baby Jesus, with whom we’re most enthralled.
Little children, as well as adults, walk away with hearts that are fully amazed…at having taken a walk down Bethlehem’s streets—to ponder the Lord’s birth—God, our Father, be praised!
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, goodwill toward men!”
P. A. Oltrogge
“Then the angel said to them, Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” (from the message to the shepherds in Luke 2:10-12)