Sunday, December 16, 2012

Main Street Bethlehem

Main Street Bethlehem

(Click on picture to see all of the pictures)

Finally! I have wanted to go see Main Street Bethlehem for years! We made it. I knew Dad and Cathy would love it, so they met us out there after church, we got in line later than I wanted, around 5:45, and I thought it would take forever with all the people that were lined up. The line was wrapped around several city blocks. But once it opened at 6, the line moved pretty good. If we had gotten there right at 5 like I wanted, we would have been in and out pretty quick. Notes for next year!

But as soon as you walk through the gates, it's amazing. Everyone is in character, the dress, the city, the animals, everything looks very authentic (as authentic as I can imagine it looked back then!) There were people sitting around camp fires eating and talking about the Messiah that had been born. Telling us to follow the bright star in the sky. We saw people with geese and chickens selling them in the market place, blind beggars shouting for alms, a tavern where Roman soldiers were, a baker that was making the most delicious "Bethlehem Bread" and giving some to everyone (which had to be a TON of bread!)  We walked through the synagogue where the Rabbi was teaching a little boy about the walls of Jericho and they were blowing their shofar. We saw a carpenters shop, a woman weaving baskets in her shop, kids that were grinding corn, families in their homes eating dinner. It really looked like you stepped back in time. They were all talking about the prophecy, the tax collector's were collecting taxes and asking the people if they had participated in the rumors about the "Messiah". It was very fascinating. We all enjoyed it, even the kids, they thought it was really neat.

It was kind of like Ikea, you just go with the flow of people and you wrap around the town, and end up at the Inn, which is full of course, so you head out back to this giant cave where there were sheep, and you see Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus, it was really awesome. Then you walk out and they give you free cocoa and cookies. And we ran into half the church!

It was great to experience, and I know we will go back again. If you are ever anywhere close by when they do it, you should certainly go. It really makes you think about the true meaning of Christmas.

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