“Back To Bethlehem”…the spirit of Christmas (in America)
The very name of the month evokes very fond memories, for so many of us. And yet for some others, it can also bring personal feelings of loss back to the forefront. December has a way of amplifying whatever the month and its spiritual legacies means to you…
If you are Christian – the month reminds you of Jesus’ humanity, and simple birth… and family.
If you are Jewish – the month reminds you of many nights spent in simple humility before G_d… and family.
If you are agnostic, more or less – the month is probably the closest you’ll get each year to thinking, “Hmm – maybe the religious folks are on to something.” LOL.
Tonight was special.
Larry and Cherlyn Moffett, 2 of the first friends I made through the South Florida 9-12 this year, invited my family to a special holiday production at their church. WHAT… AN…EVENT!
If you’ve ever stepped into Disney’s EPCOT, into Morocco or Norway or any of their international pavillions and thought, “This is surreal… it’s like I’ve been transported into another world and time…” – MAYBE that gives you some sense of what “Back To Bethlehem” has in store for you.
For one thing… prepare to drive. It’s a straight shot down Okeechobee Blvd, past the imposing lights of West Palm… Royal Palm… until you find them in the woods of Loxahatchee. But believe me – once you see the “town gate walls” built up at the entry to the 25 acre-property, you will KNOW this was a minor road trip worth taking.
Once you get past all the rows of parking, a guide will flag you in to the beginning of the tour. As my children, Shannon and I stood beneath the massive “town walls” and its gate (guarded by authentic Roman Centurions – complete in authentic steel helmet with red mohawk, shields and armor!), we felt the way the couple dozen people around us did – a little giddy, laughing, excited about what was on the other side.
The gate opened… and so did our imaginations.
Over *100* actors in FULL costume, speaking with rehearsed period dialogue, brought the “streets of Bethlehem” to life. All around us, children playing street games… vendors trying to sell us chickens…young blacksmiths forging (true!) knives on steel anvils…live sheep, donkeys, rabbits, and more…a street jail…pairs of the Roman soldiers, urging us all to “Move on!” through the crowds…a humble mother and her daughters breaks bread and sips wine, honoring their sacred Jewish traditions in prayer…
…all of this vast immersion into ancient Bethlehem “truly” places you mentally and emotionally in the time of Jesus’ birth. I won’t give away the ending – but what happens between the “brightest star” over a manger, the angel Gabriel illuminated in ultraviolet light, and the refreshment tents at the end were nothing short of WONDERFUL.
The spirit of Christmas really touched Shannon’s and my hearts tonight, and our 3 young kids… you have NO idea, how tremendously grateful I feel for the circle of GOOD PEOPLE that a guy on Fox News inadvertently brought into my life this year. (Thanks, Glenn.) Were it not for the origins of the “Glenn Beck Meetup Group” we started in February 2009 and the PEOPLE it led me to, I would not have experienced this tonight.
People who relish the traditions of family… faith… and America’s honorable, conservative principles… are coming together throughout this community and our nation for ALL the right reasons.
I marvelled tonight at the hard labor and hours that went into this massive project (thanks to fellow 912ers Ken and Jeanne Barnett, who were heavily involved in the design and construction of this inspired idea!). So, I was just inspired by this faith community’s love for God, and expression of it in the revered month of December.
THIS is our America. It’s OUR religious and civic traditions to uphold and to cherish… or allow them to perish.
Folks like Ken and Jeanne, like Larry and Cherlyn, are what make our grassroots groups like the South Florida 9-12 special. Honest dialogue, among patriotic Americans imbued with a will for ACTION and DIVINE PURPOSE, will help move the rock of Progressivism BACK up the hill.
We’re Americans. We KNOW what we believe. We can DO it. THIS is our time… this is YOUR time. Tell your kids, your grandkids, your family that on the eve of Christmas and Hanukkah 2009, you were AWAKE… you realized that if your elected officials didn’t fight for “Common Sense” Conservative values, that YOU would do it.
And you HAVE. Thank you to each of you participating in the efforts of the South Florida 912 Project. You know what you have done, and both Shannon and I are grateful to know you as friends… fellow Patriots… proud AMERICANS.
As you clutch your gift lists this holiday, try to find a way to imbue your own December with the wonder of your own family history and traditions… as for me, I’m going “Back To Bethlehem” tonight to revisit friends and briefly contemplate in prayer the meaning of Christmas.
(Community Of Hope Church’s “BACK TO BETHLEHEM” is *only* a limited engagement: Fri (tonight) 12/11, Sat 12/12, and Sun 12/13. Hours – 7:00pm – 9:00pm. It takes appx. 1 hour to experience in full. Please call 561-753-8883 or 561-827-0368 for additional details.)