Bethlhehem AD

Organization Description: 

BETHLEHEM A.D. is a living re-creation of the village of Bethlehem on the night of the first Christmas. The public can walk through the village, interacting with the colorfully-costumed towns people who are cooking over fires, creating pottery, buying and selling items in the market place, and giving account of themselves to the census taker. Visitors can observe and mingle with Roman centurions on horseback while sages and scholars discussing scripture at the synagogue, wonder about the news that the Messiah has been born. Children especially love seeing the live sheep, camels, llamas, Brahma bulls, and donkeys wandering through the village. If you are careful, you might even spot the Three Wise men as they carry their gifts in search of the newborn King.

Outside the village, visitors waiting for their turn to enter, can choose to listen to an audio tape (in English and in Spanish) explaining the historical context of the original Christmas. The mood outside BETHLEHEM A.D. is as lively as within the village walls. Roman centurions mingle with Redwood City police to help direct traffic as Bethlehem villagers mingle with modern-day sojourners standing in line. Searchlights crisscross the night sky, pointing the way to the manger. Music fills the air and a sense of joy and anticipation permeates the entire city block, as well as a deep sense of community uniting people of diverse cultural, religious, and economic backgrounds.

After leaving Bethlehem, visitors receive a Certificate of Pilgrimage and can choose to cross the street to Tapestry Church where free refreshments (hot coffee, cider, and homemade doughnuts) are served on the festively lit patio. The church sanctuary is warm and inviting, allowing for personal reflection about the experience, with a live video feed of the manger and village. Traditional Christmas carols are sung between times of prayer and reflection. The community room is alive with children and families enjoying refreshments and fellowship.

For anyone searching for the real meaning of Christmas, the answer can be found within the walls of BETHLEHEM A.D. Once you make you first pilgrimage to BETHLEHEM A.D., you will find that this journey will become one of your most cherished Christmas traditions!

1305 Middlefield Road
Redwood City, CA 94063
Mission Statement: 

To bring a free, full scale living nativity to the entire San Francisco Bay Area for three nights.

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