Sunday, December 24, 2006
Hey, that guy looks familiar!
My church, Journey Of Faith, put together a wonderful Christmas event this December. You can check them out at Journey To Bethlehem to find out more about the event.
In a nutshell, my church built a mini version of Bethlehem in their parking lot and opened the event to the public for four days -- and my oldest daughter and I were flower peddlers during the entire four days. (Note: We were going to be shepherds, but my daughter broke her ankle a month before the event so we had to find a more sedentary role. Flower peddlers turned out to be the logical choice.)
The event was a wonderful way for our church to remind Christians what Christmas is all about, and a fun way for families of any denomination to spend their December evening. When guests entered the event, the Three Wise Kings (complete with camel) gave them five shekels. When they entered the gates of Bethlehem they had to pay one of those shekels to the Roman tax collectors conducting the census. (The Roman guards were a hoot, they looked like a couple of linebackers -- and the guy played the part of Governor Quirinius was probably 150 pounds soaking wet.)
Once inside, the guests could spend their shekels on any of the many activities. For one shekel, guests could buy baklava, hot cider, fruit, bread and cheese, or a flower. The kids could also use the shekels to buy a leather strap and some beads to make a bracelet, make mud bricks, make a clay pot, or to enter the petting farm.
Also, during the course of the event, Joseph and a very pregnant Mary would weave their way through the crowds on a real donkey -- asking if they could stay the night somewhere. Our job as citizens of Bethlehem were to direct them to the inn, but when they got there they would be told there was no room, but instead were offered the stable.
Once Mary and Joseph were safely inside the stable, angels would appear and announce the birth of Jesus Christ using the verse straight out of the Bible. Guests would then line up at the stable to see the Baby Jesus. We even had a couple real babies play the role!
Happy Holidays to all my fellow blogger friends, Merry Christmas to my Christian friends, and a Happy New Year to one and all!