When most of us think of the holidays, we think of spending time with family, enjoying festive
foods and decorations, and exchanging gifts as a sign of gratitude and appreciation. But with all
that entails—the bustle of travel, the race to finish shopping, the preparations to host and/or
cook a holiday meal—it can be easy to forget what we should truly be celebrating.
Namely: the beginning of Jesus’s life on Earth, and the love that God showed the world in
bestowing His son on us.
The Christmas Story
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should
not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Many of us are familiar with the broad strokes of the original Christmas story: Mary, a young
virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, received a message from the angel Gabriel that she
would bear a child. And not just any child—the son of God. Rather than divorce her as he
initially planned to do, Joseph wed Mary anyway.
Months later, while passing through Bethlehem, Mary gave birth in a lowly stable, with only
Joseph and the animals to comfort and support her. The Christ Child, Lord and Savior, spent his
first hours on earth swaddled in a manger.
But not for long—angels alerted nearby shepherds and wise men to the birth of Jesus, and both
appeared that same night, drawn by the star directly over the house where Jesus and his
parents rested. The shepherds adored him, while the wise men presented him with treasures.
And thus, the son of God was welcomed into the world.
The Christmas story has been repeated so many times that it can lose its significance in our
minds, becoming abstract and faded with time. To truly experience the magic of Christmas, it is
important to find a way to reconnect with the wonder and magic of Jesus’s birth, both from a
human and a divine standpoint. We forget the things that make the Christmas story truly
miraculous and worthy of celebration:
How scared Mary must have been when she first received the news—but how, in spite of being
young and poor, she accepted God’s will and agreed to become the vessel for His son.
How much compassion and faith it must have taken Joseph to trust his wife and God—but he
How bewildered the shepherds and wise men must have been upon being told the news of
Jesus’s birth—and yet, they chose obedience and faith, and humbled themselves before the
How much God must have loved us to trust us with His only begotten Son.
Reconnect With Christ at Nazareth Village
At Nazareth Village, our goal is to refocus the Christmas season on the Messiah. Throughout
the year, our faithfully recreated first-century village gives visitors a chance to experience life as
Jesus would have when He was alive. There, people from all over the world, of all faiths and
backgrounds, are able to follow in the footsteps of Jesus (literally speaking), thereby deepening
their relationship with Him.
During the Christmas season, however, Nazareth Village also includes a nativity scene that
accurately reflects the humble circumstances into which Jesus was born, and gives visitors an
opportunity to witness the Christmas story as never before. It’s an invaluable chance to
experience your faith in a new and immersive way, and celebrate the true reason for the
season. While you’re there, you’ll also get to interact with actors and trained guides who can
offer additional information on the religious, cultural, and historical contexts in which Jesus’s
story took place.
In addition, Nazareth Village frequently partners with local ministries and community
organizations to host special events and shows during the Christmas season. From lights to
trees to parades to music, there’s something for everyone to love at Nazareth Village.
The Nazareth Project is the primary US partner of the Nazareth Trust, an organization dedicated
to serving the population of the Middle East and the wider world through healthcare, education,
proclamation, and service. Our work and mission are rooted in the teachings of Jesus of
Nazareth, though we are committed to serving all peoples, regardless of faith, political affiliation,
or tradition. The offerings of the Trust include the Nazareth Hospital and the Nazareth Academic
School of Nursing, as well as Nazareth Village and the SERVE Nazareth program, both of which
allow patients, students, volunteers, pilgrims, and tourists to deepen their relationship with God
and one another. Contact us today for more information on our programs, or consider donating
to support our work!