Salem Baptist Church
First, we entered as a small group of visitors to Bethlehem through a main gate just as many travelers had back years ago when they were returning for the census. The gate is a permanent structure that was built for this purpose so it feels more authentic than a prop would. There were many, many cast members milling about as townspeople or roman soldiers. Merchants had set up their stands and were selling their wares. They had live animals, real fires and authentic props. As we walked through the town of Bethlehem, our group stopped to speak with Matthew the tax collector, merchants, townspeople, and the inn keeper who turns away Joseph and Mary. Through these talks the setting was set, the background story was told, the anticipation for the Messiah was shared and we felt eager to move on and see what was coming next. When we were turned away at the inn, we left the town to sleep by the fire the shepherds had built. Here, the Christmas story picks up and we saw the angels visit the shepherds, went with them to see baby Jesus in the stable, talked with the Wise Men who were on their way to find the child, and saw Simeon and Anna at the temple and the blessing of Jesus. The story did not stop there though, they followed Jesus through His ministry, to the cross and the resurrection, and finally ended with visiting Nicodemus and hearing his account of what Jesus shared with him regarding salvation.
Bethlehem Walk is definitely worth the drive and the time! I highly recommend going. Everyone enjoyed it and we left with a great reminder of what Christmas is truly about.
If you know of a Nativity in the VA/DC area, leave a comment. We'd love to check it out!