Main Street Bethlehem

Sunday afternoon, a handful of us from Hope Evangelical Free Church set out on a 2-1/2 hour drive to
Burnet, TX (pronounced BURN-it) to go visit a small replica of what Bethlehem may have looked like in the day of Christ's coming.  We arrived about 4:30 pm and got in line. We were not too far back, but the gates of the city didn't open until 6:00 pm.  After us, more people came to stand in the line that snaked back and forth in the block of the church and then it continued down the sidewalk and continued to grow down the next block and we finally lost sight of the end of it.  Good thing we got there when we did!

We entered the gates and were free to visit all the parts of the city at our own pace and choice of direction. There were townspeople and Roman soldiers milling around the town doing what people would do in any ordinary day in Bethlehem.

There were folk doing pottery, making baskets, making candles, grinding grains, looming blankets and more.  Some were making Bethlehem bread and there were samples to taste.  YUM!!!!  The recipe is on the website at the bottom of this blog. I'm going to have to see if I can duplicate it.  You could ask the people what they were doing and they would tell you and speak just as if it were 0001 BC.  Someone else was in a little house and she was churning butter in a pouch that looked like an animal skin. Since there was a goat just outside, I'm assuming it was goat milk in the mix.  Samples were good. No complaints here!

We stopped at the well to take a picture and just as we did, one of the shepherds jumped up on the edge of the well and proclaimed that the Savior had been born and we should all follow the star in the east. Who could argue with that?! We took their advice and followed the crowd, stopping by more houses and visiting with townspeople along the way.

There were live goats, donkeys and even camels throughout the city. People were sitting by fires or were in rooms with candlelight. Every once in a while the soldiers would grab someone and throw them in the jail. But don't worry, Mrs. Lena was quick to witness to them! There was also a tax collector trying to get what he could.  Blind teenagers and adults were scattered around with little cups asking for charity. A man was teaching a young boy in the Synagogue. It was really a step back in time.

After visiting the townspeople and seeing the rooms all filled in the Inn, we were told about the couple that had to stay the night in the stables out back.  What a wonderful sight to see Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus!

After we spent our time in the City, we walked out and were treated to little cups of hot chocolate and cookies.  All of this was free of charge and has been going on for 21 years.  Kudos to the members of First Baptist Church!!! It was truly impressive and inspiring.


More of my pictures can be seen here.

For more info and the recipe for the Bethlehem Bread, visit http://www.fbcburnet.org/mainstreetbethlehem.htm

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