Friday, December 12, 2008

Visiting Bethlehem

2 Sunday evenings ago, we surprised the boys with a trip to the Mast family farm for a live nativity experience. All around the pond on the property, it was set up like the city of Bethlehem, during the year the Lord was born. And numerous actors told the story in a way that made it seem so real to them. Everything was so well done - we just loved it, and hopefully we'll make this a tradition we keep every year.

We didn't tell the kids what we were doing until we parked and got on the bus to ride to Bethlehem. They were so excited!

I forgot to get my camera out again for awhile, so I don't have pictures of all of it. But when we arrived, a Roman soldier met us and took a group of us to "register" in the census. It was there that our guide Benjamin met us, and took us on our journey through Bethlehem.

We stopped to hear the rabbis read from the Torah the prophecies concerning the birth of the Messiah - that He would be born in Bethlehem! How incredible to think that God recorded so many prophecies about the coming Lord Jesus, and that there were ones who looked expectantly for His coming. What an amazing night that must have been, when He finally arrived!

Along our way, outside the city, we came across a group of shepherds, warming themselves by the fire. As we spoke with them, all of a sudden, angels appeared out of nowhere, proclaiming good news of the coming Babe!

We hurried on to Bethlehem. The city was a bustling marketplace.

The boys got to make dreidels - they loved this!

Finally we saw the star, above a stable. It was Mary, Joseph and Jesus! (But really, it was Chris, Candace and Conner!).

The wisemen - still looking for Him.

At the end of the journey, we passed 3 crosses and then an empty tomb. Joseph of Arimethea told us the story of how the Baby had come to die and to save His people from their sins. And he encouraged us to put our trust in Him if we hadn't already.

What a beautiful story! Thank you, Lord, that it is true!

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." Luke 2:14


Andrea said...

What a cool place to take the kids! This will be a great tradition for them.

Christina said...

What a great way to help children realize that Bible stories are not just "stories," they really happened!

Kim & Dave said...

That is such a cool place!!!