Why Walk Thru Bethlehem?
For roughly 40 years now, Woodmont has been putting on Walk Thru Bethlehem for the Nashville community, and many who travel in from out of town. What first started as a live nativity scene up at South Hall in 1983 put on by our youth (to honor Anne Keith) has grown and evolved into a major community event where thousands walk through the doors of our church to experience what it was like when Christ was born. I want to thank the WTB planning committee and the many members who are working very hard this week to get ready for this major event. It is no secret that it takes a LOT of work and hundreds of volunteers to pull off this major event every year
This is a labor of love and an outreach to our community. But we always need to be aware of “Why” we do this. Why do we work so hard to bring the Christmas story to life? Why is this outreach so very important? Here are a few thoughts:
1. Christmas is all about the birth of Christ, the light shining in the darkness and the darkness not overcoming it. In the midst of the secular culture, many will forget why we celebrate Christmas in the first place, and this is a great reminder.
2. WTB is a major outreach of our church and a gift that we give to the Nashville community every year. Put simply, it is an act of love, generosity, and joy that impacts thousands of people.
3. WTB brings our church community together. Our church has grown over the years. We have three different worship services every Sunday, and we don’t always get to see each other. WTB is a community-wide event where we can come together, work together, and get to know each other better. This strengthens our faith community.
4. Woodmont has a reputation throughout Nashville for hosting this event. We should take great pride in this fact and keep working year after year to make it even better.
5. When it’s over, we are always glad that we kept the tradition alive. The gratitude expressed by those who come reminds us that this event is a significant part of their Christmas tradition!
Spread the word this week to your friends and neighbors to come to Bethlehem on Sunday. Years ago, Phillip Brooks had a powerful experience in the Holy Land on Christmas Eve while worshiping at the Church of the Nativity. He wrote these words that would become the famous lyrics to one of our favorite Christmas hymns:
O little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by;
Yet in the dark street shineth
The everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.
This is what Christmas is all about. This is why we put on Bethlehem year after year. This is why we celebrate Christmas. Jesus Christ can heal a broken world. He can heal our pain and our divisions. He can bring us the peace that passes understanding. He can make us whole again.
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