Was Christ born in Bethlehem on our celebration of his birthday? Not a Bible study. Of course not!
We like to sugar coat things. There was no room in the whole town for a woman giving birth, nice town.
Not such a simple truth.There is truth on several levels.
I think that commercialism has turned many away. But a good heart asks: What is heaven? What is hell? What is Bethlehem? What is Christmas? Who is Christ? These are all worthy questions for a discerning person to ask. I know because I have raised several children. These questions must be answered for them by a loving elder. Parents know that sometimes questions are asked that deserve responses that are not easily provided. And today you must know that they will Google your answer, like it or not. So you must develop a reasonable response to answer them. Perhaps it is that training that made me, or enabled me to become a pastor.
Is Heaven real?
What is heaven? It is not a physical piece of land with buildings. The mansions there are metaphorical; the golden gates there are symbolic. Heaven is a space and place of existence for our souls where all emotions and needs are filled with Love. It is not a place of things or the existence of flesh. It is made of pure energy which is good. Each heaven is different as is each soul, so your vision is as accurate as mine. We would go there now but it is impossible for us to reach heaven in our current state.
Is Hell real?
What is hell? It is not a physical place, the descriptions of burning and unquenchable thirst and demons with pitchforks are mans best understanding of what eternal damnation would be like. As with heaven each soul has a different hell. It is a space where there is total separation from Love and goodness. It goes on forever for there is no hope there so suffering has no end in sight. It is infinitely sad because there is no faith in anything. Intentions, fairness and compassion are absent.
118 degrees that shade will be gone for 12 hours.
Bethlehem: Real or Hell?
So what is Bethlehem? Bethlehem is an actual town. At one point the town had grown so eager for money and human comforts that its inhabitants would turn away a poor pregnant lady ready to give birth. It is not about the town. It is about a condition in which the hearts of men turn so cold that the compassion for infants, poor and travelers is absent. The people obey the law of man but disregard the law of Love. Perhaps at a certain time and place Bethlehem became so void of hope, so lacking in faith, and so separated from Love and goodness, that it was in a sense hell on earth.
The actual dates and places are irrelevant.
Are Christ and Christmas real and is it the day Christ was born. All of this talk of heaven and hell seems mystical and magical and not real. And in the sense of our current life they are not real in any scientific realm. But Christ is real. He is God made man, so that man could begin to understand matters more than the physical. Christ had a mission that ultimately saves all men. The gifts He gave were of His own life, so that a heaven was made available to all men. Was Christ real? Yes. Was he born? Yes. So there is a day which would be His birthday. But as He taught in Bethlehem as an infant, the laws and dates of man are not that important compared to the goals of pure Love for one another.
So Christmas is a real day to celebrate our Christ the Savior. Who cares what day it actually was, it is irrelevant to Love. Heaven and Hell are as real as we choose to make them in our hearts. And Bethlehem is both a real place and a bad state of mind. And Christ is both real and unreal at the same time. What we must remember and make real is our Love.