Monday, December 8, 2008

Shalom! We are now back from Bethlehem and Oh what a Wonderful Trip it was!!!

Saturday night the kids and I took a journey to Bethlehem. It is a production put on by Forest Hill Christian Church in Oklahoma City.

We started out getting our "papers" and were all given a name. Kalysa was Naomi, Keslee was Rachel, I was Eve, and Kenyon was Jedidiah. Then we met up with "Daniel" and "Rachel". We were all in "Daniel's" family and were traveling to Bethlehem to pay our taxes.

We came to a lady(and her donkey) selling maps for one shekel and "Daniel" bought one to help us on our journey. He asked "Rachel"(Keslee) to hold it for him (and she got to keep it after the journey). Along the way, we came to several different "camp sites."
We talked to "Jacob" and his wife and they told us about their son and his pregnant wife that were also on their way to Bethlehem
We continued our journey and met up with a couple that was hiding in the woods. They did not have their papers with them so the "Roman Soldiers" were after them. They gave "Daniel" a note to give to "Ethan the blacksmith" if we met up with him along the way. It was not long after that encounter that we were also stopped by the "soldiers"They were yelling at us and demanding to see our papers. It was frightening for a moment, especially for "Naomi"(Kalysa), but we were not hurt. Luckily, we all had the proper papers and were allowed to continue our journey.

Farther down the path, we were approached by some "zealots" that wanted us to join them in their fight. They were not happy with Caesar and warned us not to trust King Herod.
Our family declined their request to join the fight and continued on our way.

As we continued our travels, we came upon the camp of a very important looking man. We were then introduced to the king, "King Herod
The king told us there had been rumors that a baby was to be born that would be The King. He told us to keep our eyes open for this Baby and if we found out where he was, we should report it to him. He claimed he just wanted to worship him with everyone else, but thanks to the warning we has received earlier, we did not believe that and were not going to report anything back to King Herod.

We came upon the campsite of some scribes that were busy writing the scriptures. I believe it was "Matthew" and "Nathaniel". We spoke with them as we warmed ourselves by their fire before continuing the journey.

The next campsite we came to was that of 3 very "wise men". They told us about the birth of a baby. They explained that this baby was to be the Messiah. Our Savior. They were traveling to
find the baby and present him with some very expensive gifts. They showed us these gifts and they were beautiful and fit for a King. This was very exciting news.
Not long after the wise men told us of the Baby, we met some "Shepards" that were with their sheep. They were quite excited and said angles had appeared to them and announced the arrival of and Baby. The shepards showed us the star in the sky that was leading the way to the Baby. As soon as we left the Shepard's camp, an "Angel" appeared to us as well!
She shared with us the same news she had given the shepards. Then a "multitude" of angels appeared in the sky singing praise to the Lord.

We knew we were getting closer to Bethlehem when we met up with "Ethan" the blacksmith.
He showed us some of the things he had made including some Very Long nails. He explained how you can place your trust in a good nail to hold. We delivered the message we had been given for him and continued our trip.
It was not long before we encountered more soldiers. This time they had captured a man without papers and they were not treating him very nice. Our "family" had to line up as they checked all of our papers and we were ushered into a large room in front of "Caesar".
."Daniel" paid the taxes for our family, even though he was forced to pay more than what was expected, our papers were stamped and we were ushered out. We finally saw the entrance into Bethlehem ahead!
We walked through the market where we could have bought anything from chickens, to woven baskets, to fruit, to scrolls and maps.
The market place was very festive and our family even joined in on a Hebrew dance before we left. We were very tired from our long journey and wanted to find a place to stay. We came to an Inn and tried to get a room. They had nothing available.The Inn keepers wife was very kind and seeing that we had been on a long journey, she asked her husband if there may be room for one more family to stay in the stable. She informed us that a young couple had been in earlier and they put them up in the stable because the whole city was full with people returning to pay taxes. Her husband said we could stay in the stable but we must be quiet because the lady had just given birth. We shared with them the news we had been hearing about the Messiah being born and everyone wondered if this baby may be him.

We were all very quiet as we entered the stable and there we saw the Baby. The innkeeper confirmed that this was the Child we had been told about. The Baby was the Messiah! Our Saviour Was Born!!

The trip was a beautiful interactive journey and one I plan on taking with the kids every year(as long as it is still available). What better way to bring the Bible to life than to actually live it.


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