CITY OF KING DAVID
AND BIRTHPLACE OF LORD JESUS CHRIST
The city of Bethlehem, located about six miles southwest of Jerusalem, is the birthplace of our Savior Lord Jesus Christ. Meaning “house of bread,” Bethlehem was also the renowned City of David. It was there in young David’s hometown, that the prophet Samuel anointed him to be King over Israel (1 Samuel 16:1-13).
KING DAVID – A MAN AFTER GOD’S OWN HEART
KING DAVID – A MAN AFTER
GOD’S OWN HEART
King David was a man of contrasts. At times he was single-mindedly devoted to God, yet at other times he failed miserably, committing some of the most serious sins recorded in the Old Testament.
King David lived a frustrating life, first in the shadow of his brothers, then constantly on the run from vengeful King Saul. Even after he became King of Israel, David was engaged in almost constant warfare to defend the Kingdom. King David was a great military conqueror, but he could not conquer himself. He allowed one night of lust with Bathsheba, and it had disastrous consequences in his life.
Although King David fathered Solomon, one of Israel’s greatest kings, he was also the father of Absalom, whose rebellion brought bloodshed and grief. His life was a roller coaster of emotional highs and lows. He left us an example of the passionate love of God and dozens of psalms, some of the most touching, beautiful poetry ever written.
King David’s Accomplishments
- David killed Goliath, champion of the Philistines when he was only a youth and Goliath a giant and veteran warrior. David was victorious because he trusted not in himself, but in God for the victory.
- In battle, King David killed many of Israel’s enemies. But he refused to kill King Saul, despite having several opportunities. Saul, God’s first anointed king, pursued David out of mad jealousy for years, but David would not raise a hand against him.
- King David and Saul’s son Jonathan became friends, like brothers, setting a model of friendship that everyone can learn from. And as a model of faithfulness, King David is included in the “Faith Hall of Fame” in Hebrews 11.
- King David was an ancestor of Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah, who was often called “Son of David.” Perhaps David’s greatest accomplishment was to be called a man after God’s own heart by God himself.
Why did God love King David so much?
King David was courageous, he was passionate for the Lord, he was obedient to the Lord, he was a worshipper of God, he was repentant when he sinned, he had great character, and he had a zeal for building the Lord a house. But if you had to pick the most fundamental, core reason for why God loved and blessed David so much it would simply be this: Because God chose him.
King David knew he was chosen by God because of God’s abundant, undeserved love. Therefore he knew that he would only be forgiven and sustained by the same means. David didn’t appeal to anything he’s done, but rather appealed to the very nature of who God is. Thus throughout his life, David would appeal to God, not his own rights, for God’s favor to remain on him, “Keep me as the apple of your eye” (Psalm 17:8). David was dependent upon God’s character, not his own.
God’s Love Was the Cause of David’s Obedience, Not the Response to David’s Obedience.
Before I visit the birthplace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Milk Grotto of the Virgin Mary, I am walking around the city as I want to feel the deep faith King David has for God!
Despite his strengths and weaknesses throughout his entire life, King David loved God deeply and passionately.
David’s example teaches us that honest self-examination is necessary to recognize our own sin, and then we must repent of it. We may try to fool ourselves or others, but we cannot hide our sin from God.
Even though God always offers forgiveness, we cannot escape the consequences of our sin. David’s life proves this. But God highly values our faith in Him. Despite life’s ups and downs, the Lord is ever-present to give us comfort and help.
CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY
CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY
By the time of Lord Jesus Christ’s birth, Bethlehem had declined in significance to a small village. Three gospel accounts (Matthew 2:1–12, Luke 2:4–20, and John 7:42) report that Jesus was born in the humble town of Bethlehem.
At the time Virgin Mary was due to give birth, Caesar Augustus decreed that a census be taken. Every person in the Roman world had to go to his own town to register. Saint Joseph, being of the line of King David, was required to go to Bethlehem to register with Virgin Mary. While in Bethlehem, Virgin Mary gave birth to Lord Jesus Christ. Likely due to the census, the inn was too crowded, and Virgin Mary gave birth in a crude stable.
Shepherds and later wise men came to Bethlehem to worship the Christ-child. King Herod, who was ruler in Judea, plotted to kill the baby-king by ordering the slaughter of all male children two years old and younger in Bethlehem and surrounding areas (Matthew 2:16–18).
The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem (“Nativity Church”) commemorates the nativity – birth of Lord Jesus Christ.
The original Nativity Church was built in 326 AD as ordered by Constantine, the first “Christian” Roman Emperor. On the right is the mosaic floor of that church, which was destroyed in 529 AD when the Byzantine (the surviving eastern half of the Roman empire) army sacked Bethlehem while crushing the Samaritan Revolt (529-531 AD).
Justinian I, the Byzantine emperor, rebuilt the Nativity Church toward the end of his reign in 565 AD. Since then, the church has been expanded, added to and fought over by and between the Orthodox church and the Catholic church.
Today’s Nativity Church is actually two churches – the Orthodox Basilica of the Nativity and the Roman Catholic Church of Saint Catherine – and their respective additions put together.
I am entering the Orthodox Church of the Nativity and I am feeling home.
I am heading to the main Altair, where I am bowing on my knees and praying to our Lord & Virgin Mary!
It is very noisy, full of groups of tourists and there is quiet exactly in front of the Altair but I can not go there, as a rope stops me.
But I love it so much when Lord is giving me signs that He is hearing my prayers.
All of a sudden, from behind the Main Altair the Priest comes out and sees me on my knees in front of Lord’s throne.
The Priest asks me:
-Where are you from?
-Come behind the rope and kiss all the icons on the Main Altair. I will give you Holy Bread (body of Jesus) from this morning liturgy. You are special and welcomed here. Stay and pray as long as you want.
OMG! I am feeling so grateful and kissing all the icons at the Holy land where my Lord Jesus Christ was born.
I am on my knees in front of Lord Jesus Christ main icon and I am cleaning and charging my Energy Centers with my Soul Energy Noosphere Regulators, which are over my neck and in my hands. Exactly in this very special moment, I am feeling the Divine Light of God increasing its power within me and my heart is full of humbleness, pure love, gratefulness for all that I am able to experience, and for having the chance to uplift my Soul during my Praying and Meditating time!
A few minutes later the Priest is out from the Altair, giving me 9 pieces of the Body of Lord Jesus Christ! This is very important for me as I am going to have the flesh of my Lord within me, by the hand of the Priest of Nativity Church.
And the Priest also asks me to give him the names of my beloved people, as He wants to mention them during the Eucharist (liturgy) tomorrow morning! I write them on the paper given to me by the Priest.
I am feeling totally blessed! These are the little things that despite the fact they seem little, can really uplift our souls and increase our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. To feel like you are reborn within the reality for a new life together with God.
Lord Jesus Christ is the only way to forgiveness for sin and spiritual rebirth (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). When we put our faith and trust in Lord Jesus Christ, His sacrificial death, and His Resurrection, we pass from death to life. Our sins are forgiven, and we are spiritually reborn. We are no longer slaves to sin (Romans 6:18). At the moment of salvation, the Holy Spirit enters the believer, and “the Spirit gives life” (John 6:63). The Spirit remains in us as a deposit guaranteeing our salvation (Ephesians 1:13–14) and as a guide for the new life of spiritual rebirth (John 16:13; Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:25). “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
I am ready to enter the Grotto of the Nativity.
The place of Christ’s birth is a dimly-lit rock cave. Instead of a star above, a 14-point silver star on the marble floor of the Grotto of the Nativity bears the words “Hic de Virgine Maria Jesus Christus natus est” (Here Jesus Christ was born to the Virgin Mary).
Rectangular in shape, the cave measures about 12 metres by 3 metres. Like the church above, it is in the possession of the Greek Orthodox Church.
I am Praying and Meditating at this Holy Place!
“So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:3-7)”
Exactly here, I am eating few of the pieces of the holy bread (body of Jesus) given to me by the Priest.
I am praying and feeling how I am reborn within my Lord Jesus Christ at the same place He was born! It is the most beautiful spiritual rebirth I am feeling.
God sent Lord Jesus Christ, His one and only Son, to earth so that He could make a way for our salvation (John 3:16).
When we place our faith in Lord Jesus Christ and His sacrifice, we are saved and filled with the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit within us is what enables us to live out the spiritual rebirth that has taken place: “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16).
The Holy Spirit is our direct connection to God and enables us to remain free from the power of sin. When we are spiritually reborn, we walk anew with the Holy Spirit as our guide and companion (John 6:63; Romans 8:14). The Spirit’s presence in our life is the seal of our salvation (Ephesians 1:13–14). Second Corinthians 5:17 says: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
Through Christ’s sacrifice and the continual presence of the Holy Spirit within us, we are able to walk with God in the freedom that comes from spiritual rebirth.
MILK GROTTO OF VIRGIN MARY
MILK GROTTO OF VIRGIN MARY
After an Angel of the Lord visited Saint Joseph in a dream and warned him that King Herod would seek out to harm the newborn Baby Jesus in order to protect his throne, the Holy family led by Saint Joseph quickly fled into Egypt. But early on in their travels they found refuge from Herod’s soldiers in a miraculous grotto during the Massacre of the Innocents, today known as the Milk Grotto.
“When they had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him. Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt” – Matthew 2:13-14
According to Tradition, while the Holy Family was resting before continuing on their journey into Egypt, the Virgin Mary nursed a hungry Christ Child in this grotto. A single drop of Virgin Mary’s milk fell upon the ground inside the grotto, and the limestone miraculously turned from it’s original yellowish-brown to a pure white.
The Milk Grotto quickly became a site of pilgrimage for early Christians, who believed that mixing the soft white chalk of the cave in their food or drink will improve fertility and milk production. Couples having trouble conceiving would travel all across Christendom to the Milk Grotto in hopes the white powder would help bring them a child. By the late 4th century, a small chapel was built around the cave to show reverence for it’s miraculous nature.
I am leaving Bethleem feeling able by God’s Will to fight the passions within me (anger, egoism, self-justification, haughtiness, judgement, lack of patience and compassion) and to turn them into powers.
Praying and Meditating in Bethlehem with Soul Energy Noosphere Regulators bring me back on the path of the Divine Light and protects and saved me from the sin and its consequences.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23