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Is it the End of the World?

Is it the End of the World?

The Birthplace of Jesus Christ

It shouldn’t surprise that in the modern era, the traditional birthplace of Jesus, in Bethlehem, has become a tourist trap. Palestinian merchants smile at pilgrims and offer all sorts of trinkets.

The first time I visited the Church of the Nativity, I was shocked at its rather plain exterior. The doorway is small, but once inside, a fairly vast room opens up. This historically rich place has hosted the Messiah, the Crusaders, Palestinian terrorists, and pilgrims—both great and small.

Descending a series of steps, visitors can access—in a tight turnaround space—the alleged spot where Jesus was born and where the wisemen offered their gifts. Frankly, the religious trappings make it sort of the definition of kitsch, but one cannot deny the historical significance of the site.

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If you ever visit the area (I would recommend it without reservation), don’t expect to see a small, ancient “inn.” Rather, the Lord was born in a grotto.

Although no one really believes He was born on December 25 (or even in winter), we can still have confidence that the Gospel accounts are accurate and that the Creator chose this humble place to enter the world as Savior, 2,000 years ago.

Whether you ever visit Bethlehem, or whether you look at photographs, the real significance is what you believe about its most famous visitor, from the lineage of the House of David.

The "spot" in the Church of the Nativity where tradition tells us Jesus Christ was born.

  • https://www.facebook.com/KnowingJesusTogether Jesus

    yeah your right, he couldn’t have been born on December 25th, as shepherds wouldn’t have been in the fields in winter. Sometime in the fall is the most likely time. Although the queen of England has two Birthday’s (real and official one), so why not the King of Kings 😉 … so i just call Dec 25th His official birthday :)

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Natalie M

    I just can’t fathom any feeling of joy from this blog post from what you wrote. I don’t appreciate your pseudo-authority about how “nobody believes Jesus was born on Dec 25th or in Winter”. I’d have more respect for you if you just owned that as your own belief or at least cited credible resources for your “factual” statement. Very carelessly written, were you just not in the mood? It seems like your heart wasn’t in it. It makes me not want to visit there as I’d be very disappointed that it has just become a tourist trap and I don’t want anything to detract from the deep respect I hold for all that my Savior went through for me. It’s like the knowledge of good and evil, it’s deeply moving enough to know he was there, I don’t have to buy into the material side of it and detract from the holiness of it. I am so glad that the Ark of Noah and the Ark of the Covenant have never been found. What a spectacle bloggers would make of those.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Pat Finnegan

    Hi Jim! I know just what you mean about that ‘tight spot’ in the Church of the Nativity’s grotto: I was there several times in the 1970s and 1980s. It takes a lot of faith to look beyond the ‘kitsch’, and remember Messiah’s birth. I liked the Shepherds’ Field just outside of Bethlehem much better!

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