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01/13/2014

O LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM HOW STILL…

The Carol’s Words Are Elusive in Today’s World

Stillness, calm, tranquility. Words that often describe the Galilee, seldom capture the areaChurch around Bethlehem today (Jerusalem is only 5 miles away and with its suburbs they almost touch each other). No wonder Jesus spent 80% of his recorded life in and around the Galilean Sea.

When we visited Bethlehem yesterday, the traffic on foot and in the bus were heavy and tense. Our bus driver, Khaled, amazed us as to how he navigated the streets, and I was amazed at how long and pressing the lines were to get into places like the actual birth site grotto of Jesus.

”Simplicity” was also a word we think of when we come to a traditional manger. “Over the top” would be a better way to describe places like the actual Church of the Nativity. I kept asking myself, “Would this be pleasing to the Lord we are venerating?”

RuthBut yet in the midst of the noise and commotion, we found peace and God’s comforting presence. We found it when we would carve out a place for storytelling. Stories about things like Ruth’s life, full of compassion and devotion, even as one from a despised foreign country who would create the birth line of Jesus.

We found it when we would take pictures of the Old City from atop of the Mt. of Olives that Jesus loved. And when we would have laugh hysterically at more camel rides and when we would pose with a donkey and Arab peddler (notice the kiss aDonkeynd the $5 bill in the attached photo).

Yesterday I was reminded of my own role in making sure there is plenty of room in the craziness of my days to find and love him. “O come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant. O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem. Come and behold Him, born the King of Angels. O come, let us adore Him.”


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