Who is Going to Bethlehem?: Christmas Eve Program

2011, 6 pp
Long, long ago, Bethlehem was just a small village, perched on rounded hills overlooking a desert to its east. (Just) ten kilometers south of Jerusalem, it was an obvious stopping-point for those traveling on the ancient ‘Way of the Patriarchs’ that ran along the ridge – from Shechem in the north to Hebron in the south. The village’s name, Bethlehem, means ‘house of bread’. We can imagine it was a useful place at which to stop for supplies on a journey, a place that was surrounded by fertile land and abundant wheat fields – a village not unlike some of our rural communities.

It is in this small, ancient village that the story of Jesus begins. That’s one kind of beginning. Or perhaps we recall that Jesus’ story begins with God all the way back before the beginning of time. On Christmas Eve, we remember Bethlehem as the place of Jesus’ birth – sometime around the year 5 BC. His birth has given tiny Bethlehem a reputation and significance out of all proportion to its size.

Tonight, we will see how Bethlehem, where Jesus’ earthly story began, played an important role in the lives of Jesus’ ancestors, and, as a modern city, continues to shape people today. Let us hear from the people who went to Bethlehem.

(10 actors, 50 min.)

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