Joining Christian communities all over the world, Christians in Israel will be honoring the birth of Jesus this coming Sunday. Adding to the spirit of joy, 30,000 Christian pilgrims from all over the world are expected to visit Israel during the 2011 Christmas season.
Although white Christmases are a rarity in this part of the world, the excitement and elation of the season is overflowing. Celebrations—both solemn and spirited--occur in Bethlehem, where Jesus was born (Luke 2, Matthew 2); Nazareth, where he grew up (Ibid.); in the Galilee, where he taught, healed and began his ministry (Mark 1, et al.); and in Jerusalem, where he died (Matthew 27, et al.).
A parade and Christmas Eve services mark the occasion at the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth. The Church of the Nativity, in Bethlehem, is a focal point for visitors on Christmas. Christian worship services of many types take place around Manger Square, greeting Jesus’s contemporary followers in many languages. Churches in Tiberias, Capernaum, Haifa, Jerusalem and elsewhere in Israel mark the occasion with prayer and festivity.
We want to commit to preserving the heritage that God has granted to us in Israel. Not only the spiritual foundations that touch the Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths, but also the historical landmarks and natural beauty of this unique place. It is a blessing that we are able to live here.
Peace, patience and understanding are the greatest gifts that we can give each other this holiday season.
Galilee Nutritionals wishes you a joyful Christmas. May you gather with your loved ones and celebrate in the best of health!