From My View For December 18
Last weekend, Lynne and I planned a date, and went to the Amish Country for a couple days. Of course it was cold, but bearable during the afternoon and early evening.
While there we did some shopping and got some cheese to bring home to last us the winter. Just down from the hotel where we were staying was a free Walnut Creek Journey to Bethlehem put
on by the town people and businesses. The journey was for visitors and locals to experience the birth of Jesus Christ. I was told it was the 10th year that they had put it on, and we were excited to participate, especially since it was free to everyone of all ages.
We drove to the starting point to sign-up and get instructions on where we would go from there and what to expect. It stared at 4 pm and went until 8 pm with registration ending at 7.
We got to the starting point at the Walnut Creek Mennonite Church around 4:30. It was just about a half mile from where we were staying, and the place was packed, but the Walnut Creek Police were working directing traffic so we got in rather fast especially despite the long line to sign-up.
Once we got into the Church there was a choir singing and the church which was very well decorated. We signed up and they gave us a map of where to go along with a Christmas ornament and a candy-can.
We could go by our car or there was a Shuttle Van and pick-up available, also free of charge. As we traveled, they had milk-jugs with sand and a candle in them to show us the way. We could go to any of the stops to start and finish, but decided to start in order.
There were 1,000’s of people young and old taking the journey every place we went. We stopped and walked a few blocks to start our journey to Bethlehem, with the first stop at the busy Market Place on the main road.
We started at Coblentz Chocolates, and stayed in line to see what we were going to get into. There were many people in costume to show what people did back 2,000 years ago. They had fire pits where everyone outside worked as well as for the people in the journey. They played the part and brought back what the market place would have look like. They had real live animals and the costumes were just so pretty. Most of the market people at this area were area high school students as well as a few younger kids and adults showing us how it was back in the day trying to sell not only garmets and food, but clothing and materials. (But not really selling)
Once we got inside the chocolate store there was a pair of adults dressed in costumes that people would have worn back in the day, passing out chocolate pretzels to eat all free. There were also people talking throughout our journey about the time.
After leaving the chocolate place, we walked up to the Carlisle Inn where we would see Mary and Joseph trying to fine a place to sleep. They then talked to the Inn keeper to see if they had a room for them to stay and you know the story (I hope). It all looked like it was spot on, and I had a tear or two when the Inn keeper said they were full and they would need to find some-place else to stay. After hearing Joseph talk and the way he looked at Mary, and how she looked, chocked me up a bit. But, tears turned into a smile as the Inn keeper offered them the barn out back to stay. (They really had me in the moment) and excepted his offer.
We then walked to the back of Yoders Hardware where they had King David at with his guards. As people left they were given a bag of fresh pop-corn and a small plastic jar of apple juice to have when they got back to their cars.
During the walk back, they had people in costumes singing Christmas songs at different places of business, as well as a Shepard and his sheep, and Angels everywhere you looked.
We then drove to a live Nativity scene at a huge farm where we parked our cars, and rode in a wagon driven by white horses, with people dressed in costumes telling us the story as we rode to the stable, with a shinning star above the barn. As we rode up we all sang songs, (that was great). Once inside the stable we witnessed the 3-wise-men, along with Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus and loads of Angels. The Angels sang many songs and we walked down to get back on the wagons for a ride down to the farmhouse, where the owners took out most of their furnishings to handle many people, young and old. Theyoffered hot chocolate, coffee and water to drink, along with pastries as well as cookies, cheese, apples, and bars to eat and a place to get warm.
After eating and getting warm the wagon took us down to our cars to head home or for us our hotel room. This was great, and we enjoyed ourselves very much. It took a lot of Walnut Creek residents young and old to do all these things. I recommend anyone to go to Walnut Creek and participate in their 2-day remake of the journey to Bethlehem.