Sunday, November 19, 2017

Bethlehem Field Trip


Our first stop on the Bethlehem field trip was the Herodian -- one of Herod’s castles and the place he was buried. At the Herodian you can see both Bethlehem (on Joseph’s right) and Jerusalem (on Joseph’s left) spanning both Christ’s birth and death.


Dr. Grey gave some powerful connections and contrasts between the life of King Herod and Christ. Rich powerful ruler of an earthly kingdom VS a poor, humble ruler of a heavenly kingdom. Which kingdom am I a part of? The kingdom of this world, or the kingdom of heaven?

He also pointed out how Matthew consistently emphasizes the kingship of Christ. Consider how upfront he emphasizes genealogy, connecting Christ with David:

“The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham....”

3 sets of 14 generations...with gematria, 14 is the number of King David. Perhaps this is why Matthew structures his genealogy this way.

It’s also interesting to think about what the wise men said: “Where is he that is born King of the Jews?” Not the most tactful thing to say to Herod, king of the Jews.

From the Herodion, we were off to Bethlehem. We visited the Church of the Nativity, Jerome’s cave and the Milk Grotto. I really love the Milk Grotto!


For the kids, a highlight was receiving gifts from shopkeepers. For me, the highlight was quietly sitting for 45 minutes by the venerated place of Christ’s birth. I got to see hundreds of pilgrims come through and joined in singing with a couple of different groups.



Most people have to bend down to get through the door of humility, but not Katrina!


The drinking and smoking camels!

After a delicious late lunch, we concluded the day at Shepherd’s field. We sang several hymns together and read the Christmas story from Luke 2. It was a great experience and a wonderful field trip.

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