Have you and your family journeyed to Bethlehem for free yet this year? 'Tis again the season for a "Journey to Bethlehem" Christmas event, going on in Ceres every year since 1997, hosted by Grace Community Christian Church. This is a free guided walking tour from Nazareth to Bethlehem on 20 acres of open land, complete with wise men and their camels, stern Roman soldiers, shepherds and theives. According to the event's printable flier, you can stop by the inn, kneel at the manger, and experience the "sights of Middle Eastern life, sounds of village market places, and smells of spices and authentic foods". "Authentic" is a very important word in apologetics. Jesus' incarnation is an historical event, and "Journey to Bethlehem" allows you to immerse yourself in it.
According to the Journey to Bethlehem website, in the tour you are part of a family "making a trip to Bethlehem to pay their taxes and be counted under the law of the land. ... Your journey will start as you look at a map & speak with the mapmaker who will direct you on your journey. Along the way you will meet with other families who are journeying to their birthplace. You will talk with the shepherds who have a magnificent story to tell about a baby that has been born in Bethlehem, and meet the three wise men who also are seeking this child.
"Your journey will be full of encounters with Roman Soldiers, both on horseback and in patrol teams. They will order you, 'Jews' to comply with Roman Law.
"The mysterious appearance of an angel who announces the birth of Christ, and a visit to the Bethlehem marketplace will quicken your spirit and fill your senses. The culmination of the trip finds you visiting the inn where there is no room for your family to sleep, and finally the stable where you will discover the Christ child, Mary and Joseph." It will take about 45 minutes and is a mile long on 20 acres of uneven ground.
This weekend and next weekend, gates open at 7 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and at 6 p.m. on Saturdays, closing promptly at 9 p.m. all nights of the event, which is located at 3754 East Service Road in Ceres. There is free parking and shuttle service in Orchard Park on Mitchell Road (watch for signs). Excellent directions are in this printable flier. Show up early, because thousands come to the event each year. Dress warm!
Come back here and comment to share your experience! :)
For more info:
Printable Journey to Bethlehem flier, including directions.
Christmas Programs listed @ 101.5 KAMB Celebration Radio
CHRISTMAS EVENTS listing in The Modesto Bee, November 29, 2009.
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