This past Sunday, our family travelled to Bethlehem…..well, it was actually Goochland, Virginia but who’s keeping track? Last year, Kevin and I started this tradition and I’m looking forward to keeping it alive for years to come. It was bitter cold last year and I was days away from meeting Savannah face to face, so needless to say, the experience was much different this year!
For those of you who aren’t familiar, the Bethlehem Walk is put on by a local church near Richmond. I would imagine that many areas have something similar. The production allows you to literally walk through the biblical city of Bethlehem and to witness the events that led up to the birth of Christ. As you depart and make your way to the city gates, you are even given a shekel in order to pay your taxes as you enter the city gates. Roman soldiers are everywhere and beggars ask for your shekels as you walk through. It’s a really neat experience.
As we walked through, we saw Mary and Joseph search for a place to stay, we witnessed the moments after Jesus’ birth, heard the shepherds talk in the fields as the angel came to them, and many other highlights of the story from scripture. And if you’re wondering, Savannah did fantastic! We had her bundled up in the stroller and she was pretty quiet the whole time. She eventually fell asleep towards the end.
What I love about the Bethlehem Walk is that the experience doesn’t end with the birth of Jesus, but continues through to Jesus eventual death and resurrection. It’s a dramatic reminder of the reason we celebrate the Christmas season, for if it wasn’t for the birth of Christ our Savior, then we would still be dead in our sin. There would be no hope….no way to become reconciled to our perfect and holy God.
I was talking with Kevin just the other day about spending deliberate time together each weekend as a family celebrating the Christmas season. Last weekend was the Bethlehem Walk and this weekend is looking like tacky Christmas lights.
As you and your family celebrate the Christmas season, I would encourage you to find ways to intentionally keep the birth of Christ at the forefront of your mind and heart. Whether it’s going to The Bethlehem Walk in your town, reading the Christmas story from one of the Gospels, or doing some other activity, I can almost guarantee your Christmas season will be even more blessed! Because even if you are in the midst of difficult circumstances, turning your eyes towards Christ will bring peace. After all, He is the Prince of Peace. And who couldn’t use a little peace these days? 🙂