Journey to the Holy Land- Part 3: Where It All Began

Hello everyone! Welcome back to my Holy Land series. Today I am excited to share with you a place that is special for so many reasons, the biggest of these being that it is the place where Jesus was born- Bethlehem!

Now, if you haven’t caught on yet, my name is Mary, and my husband’s name is Joseph (aka Mary & Joseph). So, being in Bethlehem was awesome and also somewhat ironic. Going to the places that I’ve heard stories about for so long was amazing! Enjoy the pictures, and if you ever get the chance to go, please do- it will change your life!

Our first stop was actually to the home of Zechariah and Elizabeth, where Mary went once she found out she was pregnant. This place was one of my favorite places for a few different reasons. I had just spoken in my school’s middle school chapel about this story in Luke 1, so the story was fresh on my mind. Also, my name is Mary Elizabeth, so it’s the perfect place for me!

This was the view from where the house would have been (there is a church there now). We know from Scripture that Mary stayed about three months, and can you blame her?? It was a BEAUTIFUL view!

Such a pretty monument to Mary’s song in Luke 1. I love this passage so much. In fact, my church sang a song in our Christmas program in 2018, and the words were straight from this passage, so I sang this song the entire time.

They had the Magnificat in different languages from across the world. I love seeing the Scripture written out in so many different languages!

The view from the Herodian! This was one of Herod’s palaces. He built it so high up that he could see almost to Jerusalem, as you can see.

The ruins of the Herodian. You see that tower? That was more than likely Herod’s room where he kept watch from.

The Shepherd’s Fields- also Boaz’s fields. This was where the shepherds were when the angels came. These are also the types of pastures that Psalm 23 talks about, so here is a visual for that!

Some of the caves that shepherds kept their sheep inside when they actually slept. My sweet husband found all the cave tunnels that were under construction and crawled through them… and of course, I went along with him for some reason.

And now, on to the birthplace of Jesus! We went to the Church of the Nativity, and after waiting in a line for awhile, we went down into the “Holy Grotto” where it is believed Jesus was born.

This star represents the place where Jesus was born. The twelve points represent the twelve tribes of Israel. It is tradition to touch this place when you see it, and some people even kiss it. Needless to say, we did not.

This is Mary and Joseph in front of the manger where Jesus was laid! The manger is behind that metal grate. It was so special to be in this place.

One of the places we saw that helped us confirm that this was definitely the place Jesus was born. St. Jerome, in his lifetime, decided he wanted to find a holy place to live his life. So, he found the cave right beside the Holy Grotto, where this room is now. In this room, St. Jerome translated the Bible from Hebrew and Greek into Latin, the first reader-friendly language that was accessible to everyone. The fact that he did this here helped us know that this is truly a holy place, and the birthplace of Christ.

Bethlehem was a special place to go! Seeing the places at the beginning of Jesus’s life was amazing. Next up, we will see the beautiful region of Galilee, where Jesus spent his adult life, so stay tuned for more!

If you are interested on going with us on a trip to the Holy Land, email me at maryefowler23@gmail.com.

In October 2020, we will be going on a Journeys of Paul trip in Greece! Email me for more information and to join us on that trip!

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