2000 + years later….

Its becoming a new tradition for me to spend Christmas Eve in Bethlehem…this was my 2nd year trekking across the border for the festivities.  Its crazy to try to imagine how it was back then, compared to now; but my mind wandered back to the night when HE was born (standing on the same ground will do that do you).

This year there were TONS of people there.  I think the fact that the weather was nicer this year, brought out more locals (and by locals, I mean Men.  Women were few and far between).  As I stood looking toward the crowd, I thought, “and what a contrast to the few animals that were there to witness his birth..”

I had other moments that took me back.  Moments of, “I can’t believe I’m seeing this here” like the infamous STARS and BUCKS coffee shop (close enough to attract Starbucks lovers, but not close enough to break any infringement rights).  Can you imagine if Mary was like, “Oh, Stars and Bucks!!!” We traveled all this way, I could really use a cup of Stars and Bucks coffee to get me through this…” hehehe. (ok, well even if Mary wouldn’t have been excited, I sure was)

And of course, we all have this nice little image of what it was like that night… in a cute little manger, surrounded by the shepherds, wise men, donkeys, sheep, and the shining star on top.  I’m sure our pop culture plays a big part in that; but as I stood, posing next to the famous “nativity scene” in front of the Arab Christian tourist shop I actually took a moment to imagine what it was really like that night.

More or less, likely in a small cave or some sort…cold…smelly…dark…birth-pains…

This is how our Savior was born.

And I was humbled.

For as I looked all around me, 2000 + years later, I saw an extreme of opposites surrounding me.  Now versus then.

But ONE thing remains the same: The REASON!  His LOVE remains the same both then and now.  He came for them; He came for us.  He died for you; He died for me. No matter how much our world changes, for better or worse, this one constant will remain the same….and I love HIM even more today than yesterday.

Bethlehem is a wonderful place to be on Christmas Eve, and I hope the tradition continues for years to come, but the location is just that…. a location.  What matters is what’s in our ❤!  That is the truth of Christmas!  Much love to all of you, from my beloved Bethlehem!

(and wouldn’t it be fun to join me next year!?!)

About Maureen Hochdorf

Writer. Editor. High Techi. Non-Profit Founder. Traveler. Sports Lover. Star Wars Fanatic. Tel Aviver. Michigander.... View all posts by Maureen Hochdorf

13 responses to “2000 + years later….

  • @ngie

    That is so true, Maureen. It is all about Him. I think it is awesome that you got to spend Christmas in Bethlehem. Wow. Merry Christmas!

  • Theresa

    Getting up Dec. 26th to read your post about Bethlehem is becoming my new tradition!

    How amazing it all must be to actually be there. Thank you so much for sharing it with us!

    Be safe my friend!

  • Bonnie Gray | FaithBarista

    Those pictures are great – got to see you in your “element”.. but, gosh – it sure breaks my picture of Bethlehem. You are oh so right – Bethlehem of our hearts are forever Christ’s place of birth today. Isn’t that true for so many things in our lives.. they eventually change. But, God doesn’t.

    Merry Christmas, Maureen. THnx for sharing your Christmas moments. So special. Take care & blessings, sister!

  • Bill Todd

    Merry Christmas, Mo.

  • Tim

    Once again Amazing! It is all about Him! It gives me chills just thinking about being there.

  • Jennifer Drake

    This was sweet to read Maureen. I am glad you could participate in this! All of what you said is so true. May we all keep our eyes on the true meaning of why we are celebrating. Thanks for keeping us updated on your journey. 🙂

  • Joseph

    Waaaaaaayyyyy late here thanks to lack of internet…awesome Mo. and Merry Christmas.

    I can’t believe @Bill_Todd beat me to it…I will have to head down to our wonderful church home we call @HopePark and have a chat with him 🙂

  • Jon Zondervan

    Awesoeme thoughts and great Pictures mo!!! I’m sure actually being there puts a whole new perspective on it. Must say I’m slightly “righteously” jealous=) Merry Christmas!!

  • pablo

    Which place defines His purpose on Earth better, Bethlehem or Jerusalem? His birth or his death? I´m not talking about liturgy, festivities, not even tourism, I mean Jesus is ethernal, He existed before his birth on Earth, but I don´t like when they talk too much about “the child” instead of the Lord, the King of kings, The Saviour, because when you talk about a baby, he is completely dependent to his mother… (remember roman church doctrines); so I like to celebrate the Saviour, His Salvation, who came as a man and voluntarily went to the Cross to died for us, and it doesn´t matter the location as you said. Happy new year and decade!!!Shalom!!!!.

  • chrystiecole

    Would so love to be there next year. Although, the pictures were actually a little shocking! I didn’t picture it so commercialized! You look precious!

  • alece

    stars & bucks! AWESOME! is that what my mug says!?!? ha ha!

  • I made it… « Mo’s Marathon

    […] 4 months: boring lectures, Hebrew, Arabic, ministry, the swine flu, family issues, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, relationship ups and downs, loosing a dear friend, and everything else the comes in […]

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