Bethlehem Walk

On the Bethlehem Road
On the road to Bethlehem to check out the birth of baby Jesus

It was a snowy night on Saturday, November 23.  Our family decided to take the chance during a treacherous snow storm to check out the Bethlehem Walk in Ingersoll, Ontario.  Our GPS got us lost and the snow was coming down so hard that we actually thought about turning back.  However, with the help of our smart phone, we were able to determine the intersection where the church that was hosting the walk was located.  Being out in the snow, and a chance to experience something new made our girls giddy and excited.  For my wife and I, we were just happy that our girls were having fun, and that we can spend some quality time together.

Roman soldier collecting taxes
Roman soldier collecting taxes

First, we were ushered into a structure that housed Herod’s throne room by a Roman soldier.  There the “Scribe” set the stage for the scene for the group of us that became pilgrims together to go see the birth of a “King” that the magi told about as they followed the star that pointed to the place of the baby’s birth. Next stop was in the sanctuary of  Crossroads Alliance Church, the church that hosted this event for the past 18 years.  Our group was given a family name (Naphtali), and had to wait in the sanctuary until the Roman soldier came to call us to go and pay taxes.  While we were waiting, we were led in singing Christmas carols by a group of musicians dressed as the first century Jews, as well as the children who wanted to go on the stage.  When our family name was called, we began our walk toward Bethlehem.

Donkey at the Inn where Jesus was born
Donkey at the Inn where Jesus was born

Along the way we met various characters that were mentioned in the bible describing the night that Jesus was born.  The live animals and surprises on the well thought through road to Bethlehem made it very interesting.  Despite the cold, and perhaps because of the snow, our girls thoroughly enjoyed the time.  This production was put together with volunteers who simply wanted to be part of the Christmas story.  Even the baby Jesus was an actual baby!  Maybe because these were volunteers who wanted to be there, the true meaning of Christmas came through each cast member (I couldn’t believe that the cast showed up, including the baby, in such a treacherous night so that the show can go on!).

One of the things that I appreciated the most about the walk was the fact that the church did not use this to boost their membership nor did they ask for money.  The whole event was FREE!  The true meaning of Christmas was not only told through the re-enactment of the Christmas story, but in the quiet passion of each person who dressed up to play their part.

As you go through this “holy-day season,” may I recommend that you think about why you celebrate this season?  Whatever your religious belief maybe, it would behoove all of us to think about what we really believe.  Too many of us rush through this season stressed out about buying the right gifts or receiving the right gifts that we forget why we do what we do.  And perhaps our true religion has indeed become “materialism” (see the previous post).   For me and my family, the Bethlehem Walk reminded us why we celebrate this season, and helped us to recalibrate our thinking as we meet this wonderful time of the year.

An Angel announcing the birth of Jesus
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

Hark the herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled”
Joyful, all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With the angelic host proclaim:
“Christ is born in Bethlehem”
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the the newborn King!”

Christ by highest heav’n adored
Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come
Offspring of a Virgin’s womb
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris’n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”

One thought on “Bethlehem Walk

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