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  • Writer's pictureLorna Hamilton

Bethlehem Re-Visited Unfolds A Living Nativity


The Nativity Scene. Photo Lorna Hamilton

Bethlehem, once again, came alive with the spirit of the season as The Glad Tidings Pentecostal Assembly, in collaboration with community churches and organizations, presented a captivating journey through time in its Bethlehem Re-Visited event on December 17.

Diverging from tradition, this year’s event unfolded within the walls of the Glad Tidings Pentecostal Assembly, transforming the sacred space into an intricately detailed and interactive walkthrough of the historic town. Visitors found themselves immersed in the heart of Bethlehem, replete with marketplaces boasting fabrics, bakeries, fishmongers, grain and spice stalls, as well as fruits and vegetables, rugs, baskets, and bread vendors. The recreation allowed attendees to engage in the experience of pretending to purchase and discover the wares of a bygone era.

Notably, the facade of the inn echoed the sentiment of that night when Mary and Joseph sought shelter. The nativity scene, with the humble stable where Jesus was born, stood as a poignant reminder of the biblical tale that has resonated through the ages.

Throughout the immersive walkthrough, attendees had the unique opportunity to interact with shopkeepers, creating a semblance of real-time engagement. “It was an immersive experience where you were able to walk through the village of Bethlehem and see what it might have been like on the night of Jesus’ birth,” remarked one attendee, capturing the sentiment shared by many.

Adding depth to the narrative, the setting featured a census place, an integral part of the story of Jesus’ birth. According to the biblical account, the census ordered by Caesar Augustus necessitated Joseph’s return to the city of David, known as Bethlehem. Joseph, a descendant of the house and lineage of David, complied with the ruler’s command, and the event underscores the belief that God orchestrated the census to fulfill the prophecy of Christ’s birth in Bethlehem. A tax collector was also working to collect taxes from the visitors.

The immersive experience extended to an indoor children’s area, offering young visitors a chance to explore their creativity through arts and crafts, and cookies, coffee, and water were provided, ensuring a warm and inviting atmosphere for all.

Stepping into the crisp night air, a crackling fire outside welcomed attendees to a live interaction with animals, including donkeys and sheep, enhancing the overall experience and transporting everyone to a time when the simple yet profound story of Bethlehem unfolded.

In blending tradition with innovation, Bethlehem Re-Visited at The Glad Tidings Pentecostal Assembly has once again proven to be a cherished community event as many members of the community passed through the display.

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