There is a church in a town not far from us that transforms the back lot of their church every year into a living "Bethlehem" that you can walk through. We have gone for several years,
and each year we get something new out of it.
All the townspeople are in period costume working period crafts that the children can
watch and even participate in. The idea is to find the Messiah who has been rumored
to have arrived. You can follow Joseph and Mary (who is riding a donkey) on through town
where they look for a place to stay and are directed to a stable out back.
After the baby arrives, the shepherds come (that were at the entrance to the town with their sheep) and see the baby, and leave rejoicing. They are shooed away by the largest men dressed in Roman Centurion costume that I've ever seen.
Not very far behind them are the wise men who come complete with real camels.
It's a wonderful experience and we always enjoy exploring it.
As we all stand around the stable and watch Mary and Joseph, I'm always reminded
that this is what it's all about. No "rockin' around the christmas tree", no Santa (like where did he come from in this story anyway......that's a soapbox of mine for another time), no reindeer, no crazy shoppers out at 2am for a $3 pair of pj's, no lights, no Hallelujah Chorus. Just a baby.
A quiet, unobtrusive birth. That's it.
But what a miraculous birth it was. Of our Divine Saviour in human form.
It always reminds me to stay simple and block out all the noise of the commercialism and the pressure to follow everything our culture does this time of year.
It's about Jesus......and that's enough.
I caught Aryn standing over in this little corner all by herself checking
out the goats and donkey behind this fence.
You can read more about this here.