My pilgrimage to Bethlehem was quite different than Mary’s. Although we both traveled in the winter months, she carried the savior of the world in her womb, I simply carried the hope and love of that savior in my heart. Her journey was arduous and long, winding thru the landscape of the Judean desert and around the rugged hills of Jerusalem. Mine was a short ride on a luxurious tour bus, protected from the elements and other dangers along the way .
Arriving at the West Bank in modern day, one could easily feel the close and oppressive political climate. Passing thru the necessary military checkpoints, that “not-so-little” town of Bethlehem came into view. A holy hush fell over me, and so did the reminder that in this 21st century moment, Mary wouldn’t even be allowed to pass this way.
Physically standing at the birthplace of Jesus– seeing, feeling, and touching, left me both humbled and awestruck. I wondered what it must have been like that starry night when holiness met humanity, when poverty birthed royalty, when LOVE came down. It was as if I could see both the babe in the manger wrapped in swaddling clothes, and the savior of the world wrapped in my scars of sin hanging on the cross, all at the same time….and another holy hush fell.
Love incarnate, love divine
Star and angels gave the sign
Bow to babe on bended knee
The Savior of humanity
Unto us a Child is born
He shall reign forevermore Noel, Noel
Come and see what God has done
The story of amazing love!
The light of the world, given for us
Noel Son of God and Son of man
There before the world began
Born to suffer, born to save
Born to raise us from the grave
Christ the everlasting Lord
He shall reign forevermore NOEL: Lyrics by Chris Tomlin
Christmas has taken on many facets thru the seasons of my life, but at the heart of tradition and festivities lies that holy hush, a love divine. Another season of Advent gives way to the greatest gift we will ever known. We wait no more.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
Traveling to Bethlehem was an incredible experience and one I won’t soon forget. It has added new experience, and life, and dimension to a moment in history that has changed the world, and to a truth that has changed my life.
With only one day until Christmas…perhaps a pilgrimage to Bethlehem isn’t on your to do list, but a pilgrimage towards the truth of Christmas, experiencing that holy hush, and celebrating His Love Divine is the greatest gift you can ever know.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11 KJV