Bringing the Text to Life

The Bethlehem Wall Titus 2:11-14

The Bethlehem Wall

Humans are good at building walls. Jesus is all about tearing them down.

NOTE: The subject matter of this sermon, the Bethlehem wall, is inherently controversial and needs to be handled with care. While people have a range of political opinions about the wall and its necessity, our goal in this material is to simply recognize that it exists and that it is a symbol of the walls that divide us as human beings. The focus here should be on Christmas as a sign of hope that one day all the walls will be torn down and we can all live in peace.

Tawfiq Salsaa is a woodcarver in the city of Bethlehem; one of the craftsmen who carve those beautiful olive wood nativity sets that are sold to the tourists who are able to trickle into the ancient city and visit the Church of the Nativity. Like the other scenes so prevalent in the few open gift shops, Tawfiq’s scenes of Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus and the wise men are arranged in a familiar tableau — Mary and Joseph looking lovingly down at the manger, the shepherds peeking in the door and the magi leading their camels toward ...

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