The Cave

Have you ever felt nervous travelling in an area that you know can be volatile ?

We felt this way when we went to visit Christ’s birthplace, in Bethlehem. It is located in the West Bank, in Palestinian territory.

There had recently been an increase in tensions between Israel and the Palestinians, but the draw to see where Jesus was born was so strong, that we continued our travels anyway.

I was expecting to find a stable, since that is how the nativity scene is usually presented. Instead, we were surprised to see that Jesus was born in a cave, where animals were kept.

A huge church, the Church of the Nativity has been built over this holy cave. There are steps from the church leading into the cave, and the entrance is low, so everyone naturally must bow before they can visit the site where Christ entered the world.

Very near to where the manger stool is a beautiful icon, Mary of Bethlehem, which was brought to Bethlehem by Catherine the Great.

Because there were few visitors at this time, we were able to shop in a tourist store that was almost empty. The store owners brought us delicious refreshing lemonade, and invited us to browse amongst all the precious items.

I chose, as a remembrance, a small replica icon, a miniature of the large icon brought to Bethlehem from Russia.

O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord !

30 thoughts on “The Cave

    1. Yes, Tonya, it was a reminder of how humbly our Lord chose to make his entrance into the world. There is a silver star on the ground where the actual manger stood, and just last month an actual piece of the wooden manger arrived in Bethlehem from Rome. I was too overcome with emotion being in the cave that I didn’t take any photos, but there are many on the internet. 🤗

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      1. ..which makes the evolution of Christmas (into the buying frenzy it’s become) even that much more detached from that reality.

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  1. Wow, I would have loved to go there.
    That is one way to get out of the cold in the east coast eh?
    I still say that Nefies are the greatest folks in Canada after working and living with them.

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    1. Yes, for sure, Lebanon is mentioned, and the mighty cedars of Lebanon.
      When we lived in Ontario, we lived in a house constructed of cedar, and we had a cedar bush beside us. They are beautiful and strong trees. 🤗

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  2. Sally, such a special replica icon but moreover what an incredible experience and story you share! Yes, that is where it all began the acknowledgement and answer to all of our earthly prayers and hopes with the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ!
    I’m very happy you shared this with us out here to add into our inspirations and prayers of observance during this Christmas season. Thank You!
    God Bless You and Yours. Amen.
    Lawrence

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    1. Hi Lawrence, good to hear from you and thanks for the kind comments. I wish you and your family a blessed Christmas season.
      Seeing the humble cave where Christ was born makes one realize the awesomeness that the baby born there is the Saviour of the world. Let us continue to declare his mighty name. 🤗

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      1. Hi Sally, thank you, and may you and your family have a most blessed Christmas as well.
        “Jesus Christ the Savior” of the world as you said began His mission to the cross here on earth in such a humble Spartan setting is truly profound and unmistakably key in His theme of how much greatness and good there is in the most fundamental and simplest of truths. He Jesus, the perfect example of a human being for any of us to hope to exemplify in our own inner character and behavior as we follow Him doing His will on earth as in heaven.
        I believe that Jesus demonstrated to us even in His most humble birth, He who is our divine “Savior and Lord God;” that we are only required to have “faith in Him” from whatever our own worldly station in life may be to gain eternal life and His glorious kingdom; we do well to allow our own humility to shine from our most inner heart, which is precious most to Him. Immediately what comes to my heart and mind is His many examples of the mustard seed.
        “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” Jesus makes it clear that it is not the volume of faith that makes impossible things happen, because faith “the size of a mustard seed”—very tiny—can accomplish the impossible. What did He mean?”
        To me Sally this says clearly that genuine Faith from the heart coming from anyone who will humble themselves to Him in this way will accomplish and gain the otherwise impossible!
        “When the apostles heard that they must extend forgiveness in such an expansive (and impossible) way, they assumed they had to conjure up this kind of love themselves. If they had more faith, they could do it. By telling them that even faith the size of a mustard seed would be enough to work wonders, Jesus immediately shifts the emphasis away from the wonder worker and on to the Worker of wonders. It is not the size of our faith but its Object that makes all the difference. If we are thinking about the size of our faith, we are thinking about ourselves. If we are thinking about the impossibility of what needs to happen, such as forgiving others endlessly, we would do well to think about God and His unlimited power. To believe that God can do anything in and through us simply takes faith. Jesus uses the metaphor of a mustard seed to emphasize that impossible things are accomplished when our faith in God—our trust in Him to hear our prayers and act on our behalf—is exercised. It is not the amount of faith that matters but its quality. Faith is the human action through which the power of God is released in the world. With God, nothing is impossible (see Gen 18:14; Mt19:26; Lk 1:37).”
        These additional Holy Scriptures help us to see clearly what His message as well as hope is for us all. His gift to us on Christmas, His glorious, miraculous birth and offering of Himself to us out of the most high and absolute love in all of existence!
        A Merry and Joyous Christmas to You and All. Amen. 🤗
        Matthew 17:20
        And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.
        Luke 17:5-6
        The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea’; and it would obey you.
        Matthew 13:31-32
        He presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field; and this is smaller than all other seeds, but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that THE BIRDS OF THE AIR come and NEST IN ITS BRANCHES.”
        Mark 4:30-32
        And He said, “How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it? “It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the soil, though it is smaller than all the seeds that are upon the soil, yet when it is sown, it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and forms large branches; so that THE BIRDS OF THE AIR can NEST UNDER ITS SHADE.”
        Luke 13:18-19
        So He was saying, “What is the kingdom of God like, and to what shall I compare it? “It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and threw into his own garden; and it grew and became a tree, and THE BIRDS OF THE AIR NESTED IN ITS BRANCHES.”

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      2. Beautiful writing, Lawrence. Yes, for sure, we need to humble ourselves to receive the gift of faith, which initially is small, like a mustard seed, but grows as we are nurtured by God’s word, worship, and the encouragement of other believers🤗.

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      3. Good morning Sally! What I truly hope and pray is that my writing reflects some basic fundamental truth that our Lord provides that He is always pleased to see His children sharing with one another, which in turn increases and helps our faith to grow! Thank you for affirming this hope!
        Brother in Christ Jesus, 🤗
        Lawrence

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      4. Again Sally I like that; you just put it into a nutshell, oops I mean a Mustard Seed again! We should be very good farmers at this rate someday, with all of the seed planting and nurturing or helping them grow we can’t miss in making sure there will be a greater bountiful harvest! 🤗 Amen.

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