For one weekend out of the holiday season the Southeast Baptist Church in Murfreesboro turns back the clock 2000 years.
Once the incredible re-construction of a Bethlehem marketplace takes form, Roman soldiers, merchants, slaves, and even camels descend on the churches campus… along with 6000 visitors from around Tennessee and out of state as well.
Once upon entrance guest are met by a local farmhand who has a tale of a miracle that took place in the town the night before, the birth of Jesus Christ. Guest are then welcome to follow the path where they will be able to see the new-born named Jesus.
From there you enter into the actual marketplace itself where the environment comes to life. Before you are permitted to go any further you are met by Roman soldiers who inform you Caesar is demanding a census be taken of all who travel through.
With each step you take deeper into the market, the further you feel back in time. Weavers that line the path shout out the quality of their craft in an attempt to barter. Peasants, who haven’t eaten in days beg for change from passerby’s. The authenticity of the entire event rings as camel are tended to by their owners.
As you continue along, the noise from the market begins to die down, the lights dim. All except for one. That one light, illuminates the new-born spoken about by the farmhand. The miracle of Jesus lays in his manger, watched over by Mary and Joseph.
If you did not get a chance to go this weekend you will have to wait till next year to get an in person experience. Until then here are a few shots of our time we had while in Bethlehem.