Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Night in Bethlehem

Night in Bethlehem is one of my favorite nights of the year!! Our church started this a few years ago (this was year three) and I LOVE it!! I've worked all three years but this year was extra special . . .one of the young women in our church called (or emailed?) Mark and asked him if he would work also! We agreed to be greeters (OUTSIDE greeters) to the town of Bethlehem. Who knew when we agreed and it was still 70 degrees outside . . .that an Arctic front would blast through Birmingham and it would be about 15 or 20 degrees outside that night???? Here we are in the costume room. Mark had on long johns (top and bottom) and another long sleeve shirt and a fleece vest and jeans under his "dress." I had on a couple of shirts and jeans and two pair of socks. We were prepared!! I think this picture should be saved . . .possibly for blackmail purposes. This is Dave . . .one of our pastors! He was the wicked tax collector. When we first arrived at Bethlehem, we were there for a census (remember the story??) . . .to be counted! So we stopped at the first booth and were counted . . . and then we had to pay our taxes before we could wander around the marketplace. This year's chair, Wendy, did an amazing job - the decorations and scenery were awesome. There was an "urchin" (young boy) who held the money bag!

This was the mosaic booth. You can see a heart mosaic in the upper left corner of the picture. Our friend, Celia, was working in this booth.

Our youth pastor, David, was in the potter's tent . . .actually making little pots.

Tim is such a good shepherd . . .in many ways actually! He was the shepherd "in the field" not too far from the stable.

Laura was fascinated (as were folks of all ages) by the animals in the stable!!

Look who we found - Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus . . .outside in the stable because there was no room for them in the inn (that would be the Wolfe (our senior pastor's name) and Bee Inn). Yes, it was freezing cold outside but baby Jesus was "played" by many different babies - each mother and child only worked 30 minute shifts and they had those babies swaddled in many layers. I am a grown woman and I realize that this is just a "portrayal" but it takes my breath away and brings tears to my eyes because it makes "it real." It allows me for just a moment to think how it might have been.

Another photo of our lovely farm animals. This is in an interior courtyard . . .the animal folks bring those critters and they have to get them through the building and out into the courtyard. Pretty amazing if you ask me!

There were angels singing and making music for Baby Jesus. That, too, brings tears to my eyes.

I love Night in Bethlehem. I love it enough that I would be willing to bundle up and stand out in the cold again and greet folks as they arrive at Bethlehem. Mark said that he wants to work in the Baklava booth next year :-) An amazing night for many - over 700 folks came to Bethlehem to be counted!!

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