Bethlehem: The Hopes and Fears of All the Years Are Met in Thee

The Lane Bethlehem
The Lane

“You’ve been to Bethlehem. What does it look like? What kind of feeling did you get about the place?” a friend asked last week.

Bethlehem feels like… like… conflict. It feels like a conflict of emotions -joy and sorrow, a conflict of the old and new, a conflict between rich and poor, a conflict between heart-felt devotion and burdensome religious ritual, a conflict between God’s  loving acceptance and mankind’s hateful rejection. It is the place where hope and fear still meet.

How could I explain it?

“Here,” I said. “I’ll send you some photos I took a few months ago.”

These are some of them:

IMG_0728 Bethlehem 21

IMG_0909 Bethlehem 13

IMG_0783 Russian woman church of nativity

IMG_0769 poor box church of nativity

IMG_0773 Bethlehem 19

IMG_0765 Bethlehem 7

IMG_0750 church of nativity

IMG_0747 Bethlehem 6

IMG_0742 Bethlehem 5

IMG_0897 Bethlehem 14

IMG_0732 Bethlehem 3

IMG_0857 Bethlehem 13

IMG_0853 Bethlehem 16

IMG_0847 Bethlehem 17

IMG_0823 bethlehem 12

IMG_0787 Bethlehem 10

IMG_0811 bethlehem church of nativity windows

IMG_0875 church of shepherds vertical

 IMG_0872 Shepherd's church

IMG_0737 Bethlehem 21

IMG_0739 stars and bucks israel bethlehem


Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (1 John 4:7)

9 thoughts on “Bethlehem: The Hopes and Fears of All the Years Are Met in Thee

  1. Susanne Schuberth (Germany)

    You really have an eye to reveal the unseen vision behind this world to us, Charis. It is not the perfection of your photos nor the high quality of the proper lens you chose – as my hubby told me seeing your beautiful photo gallery – it is His eye guiding you constantly.
    The light of heaven is in your eyes…You are vision-led, indeed. 😉

    Much love to you,
    Susanne from Bavaria


    1. Hello, Susanne. What a wonderful, encouraging comment to wake up to this morning! You bring tears to my eyes! I do not have a lot of fancy photo equipment. To be honest most of my photos are done with a little Canon point and shoot that I carry everywhere because it fits in my purse. I have an older bigger Nikon but I always seem to collect blobs of dust inside it when I change the lens. I am not a professional photographer. I just want to share what I see when the Lord nudges me to pay attention. That someone understands makes me happy. God bless you and your husband in Bavaria, Susanne! Someday I hope to see your beautiful country.


      1. Susanne Schuberth (Germany)

        Thanks so much for your kind reply, Charis. I am glad you have been encouraged by my few words.
        Regarding your photo equipment, I don’t think it is necessary to have a fancy or expensive camera since even smart phones will do the job due to today’s advanced technology which increasingly makes any electronic equipment smaller.
        Yes, Bavaria is beautiful, but seeing all those pictures you took there where you live, you wouldn’t miss anything if you never came to Bavaria. Honestly, these high mountains are redolent of the snow-covered Alps in Bavaria, Austria and Switzerland. Nonetheless, I would be happy to meet you and give you a heartfelt hug, sister. 😉 Until then we may settle for fellowship and communion in His Spirit.
        And yep, I do understand that the Lord is the One who gently pushes all of your doing for Him and His Body. I can “see” Him in your pics and paintings, and I “hear” Him speaking through your written entries.

        May God bless your family as well, Charis! 🙂


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