What a contrast in the royal accommodations enjoyed by the earthly King Herod and Jesus, the King of kings, born within sight of that palace in the town.
At 10:30, we entered the Lutheran Christmas Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem to beautiful organ music, warm hospitality, and a worship experience we will never forget.
The service was mostly in Arabic, but they also provided a worship bulletin in English. We found it easy to follow along, including the Lord’s Prayer and two familiar hymns: All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name and How Great Thou Art. There were at least two other visiting groups (from Denmark and Norway), so there was singing and prayer in at least four languages. Very powerful.
After lunch we connected with Alex and Brenda Awad of Bethlehem Bible College.
Alex gave a brief lecture about the College and its ministries in the context of the current situation in Palestine. This is an amazing institution. We were also able to deliver the supplies that folks at FUMC donated, and the college was very grateful and asked us to convey their thanks.
From BBC, we toured the Church of the Nativity,
We were mutually blessed, but the greater blessing was certainly ours. We enjoyed a traditional, Bethlehem home-cooked meal, heard their stories and struggles, got to see a more personal side of the situation here, and saw their very real and very rich faith in action.
And it’s only our first full day here!