God With Us…

Hello friends . . . grace and peace,

We visited the Church of the Nativity today in Bethlehem. (see above photo) We stood in line for over an hour and a half. We worked hard to keep our group together – not to let anyone ahead of us so that we could stay together as a group (of 37).

at the back of the line

getting closer

people of all different background, colors, shapes, and even different faiths, coming to see Jesus

stepping down UNDER the church to the Grotto where it’s believed that Jesus may have been born

The Church of the Nativity is the place where millions of people have come to see the spot where Jesus may have been born.  It wasn’t a friendly place.  No one welcomed us.  There were people determined to get there – no matter who they had to push or shove.  And, after we defended our territory and even pushed a bit ourselves we got there.  We were ushered through quickly and told in a loud voice, “Get your blessing and leave!”

Did we feel like we touched the Holy – or the essence of Christ – Love?  What would have happened if we had acted as Christ in that line. Perhaps given up our places for others?  Maybe turned the other cheek? Perhaps we truly would have felt the essence – Love.

in the grotto, under the church, is a 14-point silver star used to mark the spot where Jesus may have been born. in the middle of the star is a dark and smooth rock. you have to get down on your hands and knees and crawl about 1 foot in order to touch the spot where God came to earth as a baby.

We learned a valuable lesson today: Christ’s presence is not in a place but in our hearts.  May we be as determined to treasure that presence as we were to touch a place made to honor a spot where he might have been born.

peace to you

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