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A Walk Through Bethlehem

Tonight we took Bridoodle to a local Methodist church’s walk through Bethlehem. We had so much fun! Initially, we walked into the church and were seated in the sanctuary to wait. Every fifteen minutes they escorted two pews worth of people around to the beginning of the show.

While we waited we met some really nice people. There was a two year old who befriended Bri and her brother and sister enjoyed chatting with us. We shared crayons and coloring pages. Bri started to get antsy so I took her to an empty part of the sanctuary and let her toddle around for a little while. Finally, it was our turn to go on the tour.

We strapped Bri into her stroller as a man in a bathrobe explained to our group that we needed to be quiet. There were a lot of rules. No cameras. No cell phones. Anyone who disrupts the peace will be handed over to the Roman guards. There were thirty four people in our group. Everyone looked a little nervous.

Then the tour began. First we saw the angel explaining things to Mary. Then we caught up with Mary and Joseph on the way to Bethlehem. There was a live donkey! Then we saw King Herod acting like a jerk to his royal servants. At the city gates, a soldier on horseback told us that if we stole anything they’d chop our heads off.

And then we finally entered the city of Bethlehem. The census taker stopped us first and got really excited at the idea of taking taxes from 34 people. There were probably fifteen booths set up with various vendors. Lots of children were playing and helping their parents. Everyone was dressed in costume. It was really fun! There was a blacksmith banging on a red hot piece of iron. He even had a crude air pump rigged out of wood and canvas. There was a candle maker and her little girls were so cute. They called out to our group to stop and buy candles. We saw all kinds of things. Rug makers kept urging us to buy something to sleep on because the inn was full. There was a booth selling clay pots and another booth selling fresh bread. At the bread booth we stopped and they gave a few of the kids free samples.

Then we arrived at the inn. The innkeeper’s wife saw our guide and called her over. “You won’t believe what my husband did yesterday,” she said. “He turned a pregnant woman away. Rumor has it that she gave birth last night in the stable! Ack!” Her husband stood behind her looking sheepish. She pointed her thumb at him and said, “All he cares about is denari.” Esther, our guide turned away wide-eyed and started to lead us to the edge of town, towards the stable. As Hubs and I passed by the innkeeper and his wife, I looked her in the eye and said, “If it was my husband, I’d make him sleep in the stable!” I thought they would laugh, but they just stared at me. The guy muttered, “Move along, move along.” Hubster was mortified. We weren’t supposed to speak to the actors.

The rest of the tour was pretty much what I expected. We saw a real live camel and a few sheep. They had a big spotlight turned towards the sky to represent the star. The wise men seemed a little strange. Three eccentric men sharing one tent. But I kept my thoughts to myself. I didn’t want to rock the boat again.

All in all, we had a lovely time. Bri loved the sights and sounds. She was enamored by the shops of Bethlehem. We’ll definitely take her back when she’s a little older.


One Response

  1. Ha ha! Sorry, just now reading this post. Tough crowd, those Methodists, geez! :o)

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