What is Christmas in Bethlehem?
We know Bethlehem from the Bible; the place where King David was born, the place where angels came to tell shepherds the Good News and of course, the place where Jesus was born in a manger. But how often do we think about the people who are blessed to call this ancient city home today?
Bethlehem is beautiful but extremely complex and diverse. For most, it’s not an easy place to live. It’s home predominately to Arab Muslims who dwell alongside a continually diminishing population of Arab Christians. Collectively, they rely almost exclusively on tourism to sustain themselves financially, which is often disrupted by unrest or more recently, Covid19. This historical and seemingly never-ending cycle of turbulence and global conditions that are beyond anyone’s control make financial security extremely challenging. Families in Bethlehem routinely wonder where their next meal will come from, how they will afford the clothing and supplies needed for their children to attend school or how they will be able to afford critical medical care not just at Christmastime, but all year round. These are such basic things that so many us take for granted.
Christmas in Bethlehem provides a special and important opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus in this special place. We follow Jesus’ example of compassion as we help provide for the increasingly urgent and growing basic needs of the people of Bethlehem. In doing so, we remind ourselves and our children that Bethlehem is a real, historical place. And that the people who walk these narrow stone streets today are actually walking where Jesus walked. We can make a difference in their lives. Help us make Christmas brighter in Bethlehem – the place where the light of world was born!
The mission of Christmas in Bethlehem is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way by meeting the urgent and most basic needs of those living in the city that birthed Christmas. Through this project, Christmas in Bethlehem partners with individuals, businesses, and churches around the world to bring light and hope to those who are struggling to live in this Biblically significant, yet struggling and often turbulent city.