To view "Two
Very Different
Houses" click

To view "The
Tombs," click

To read "In
Search of
Lazarus,"  click

To view
Maritima as Kown
to  Saint Paul"
Photography on this page by Charleston C. K. Wang, Shirley Wang, or Arthur Wang
Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved Charleston C. K. Wang, Esq., Publisher
An Independent Source of News & Views
The Birth of Jesus
In those days a decree went out from
Emperor Augustus that all the world should
be registered.  This was the first registration
and was taken while Quirinius was governor
of Syria. All went to their own towns to be
registered. Joseph also went from the town of
Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of
David called Bethlehem, because he was
descended from the house and family of
David. He went to be registered with Mary, to
whom he was engaged and who was
expecting a child. While they were there, the
time came for her to deliver her child. And she
gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped
him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a
manger, because there was no place for them
in the inn.  

The Shepherds and the Angels
In that region there were shepherds living in
the fields, keeping watch over their flock by
night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before
them, and the glory of the Lord shone around
them, and they were terrified. But the angel
said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see—I am
bringing you good news of great joy for all the
people: to you is born this day in the city of
David a Saviour, who is the Messiah,* the
Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find
a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in
a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the
angel a multitude of the heavenly host,*
praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the
highest heaven, and on earth peace among
those whom he favours!’*  When the angels
had left them and gone into heaven, the
shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go
now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has
taken place, which the Lord has made known
to us.’ So they went with haste and found
Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the
manger. When they saw this, they made
known what had been told them about this
child; and all who heard it were amazed at
what the shepherds told them. But Mary
treasured all these words and pondered them
in her heart.  The shepherds returned,
glorifying and praising God for all they had
heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Jesus Is Named
After eight days had passed, it was time to
circumcise the child; and he was called
Jesus, the name given by the angel before he
was conceived in the womb.

The Holy Gospel According to Luke
The Birth of Jesus the Messiah
Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah* took
place in this way. When his mother Mary had
been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived
together, she was found to be with child from
the Holy Spirit.  Her husband Joseph, being a
righteous man and unwilling to expose her to
public disgrace, planned to dismiss her
quietly. But just when he had resolved to do
this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a
dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not
be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the
child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  
She will bear a son, and you are to name him
Jesus, for he will save his people from their
sins.’  All this took place to fulfil what had
been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
‘Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel’, which
means, ‘God is with us.’  When Joseph awoke
from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord
commanded him; he took her as his wife, but
had no marital relations with her until she had
borne a son;* and he named him Jesus.

The Visit of the Wise Men
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born
in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men* from the
East came to Jerusalem, asking, ‘Where is the
child who has been born king of the Jews?
For we observed his star at its rising, and have
come to pay him homage.’ When King Herod
heard this, he was frightened, and all
Jerusalem with him; and calling together all
the chief priests and scribes of the people, he
inquired of them where the Messiah* was to be
born. They told him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea;
for so it has been written by the prophet: “And
you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no
means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler  who is to
shepherd* my people Israel.”   Then Herod
secretly called for the wise men* and learned
from them the exact time when the star had
appeared.  Then he sent them to Bethlehem,
saying, ‘Go and search diligently for the child;
and when you have found him, bring me word
so that I may also go and pay him homage.’
When they had heard the king, they set out;
and there, ahead of them, went the star that
they had seen at its rising,* until it stopped
over the place where the child was. When
they saw that the star had stopped, they were
overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house,
they saw the child with Mary his mother; and
they knelt down and paid him homage. Then,
opening their treasure-chests, they offered
him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  
And having been warned in a dream not to
return to Herod, they left for their own country
by another road.  The Holy Gospel According
to Matthew
To read "A
Reflection of
Jerusalem & the
New Jerusalem
from the Ground,"  
To view Group
photos of
Pilgrims in
Jerusalem  click
To view "Confession
of a Gentile in
Jerusalem: The
Paradox of the 5
Shekel Blessing,"
To view "Into
the Heat of the
Cauldron click
A Pilgrimage to Bethlehem, Birthplace of Jesus
Click on any photograph for larger view
To view "The
Garden of
Gethsemane and
Church of All
Nations" click
This is a fisheye photo by Charleston C K Wang - The Cave at Shepherds' Field
Our pilgrimage to  the Shepherds' Field of the little town of Bethlehem was made on April 17, 2010.  Bethlehem is the birthplace of
Jesus according to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.  The photographs on the above left of the Scriptures show the celebration
of the birth in the Western Latin tradition and those on the above right show the Eastern Orthodox tradition.  The Franciscan
Church of the Shepherds' Field is located at Khirbat Siyar al-Ghanim (photos to the left).   The Church was completed in 1954
and is shaped like a shepherd's tent.  Next to the Church is a natural rock cave with a low ceiling which has been refurnished as
a functional chapel with a creche.   About a mile away, facing one side of Manger Square, is the Basilica of the Nativity which
dates to 565 and the Emperor Justinian I who rebuilt the first Byzantine sanctuary of Saint Helena (built circa 327-333 and
destroyed 529)), mother of Emperor Constantine I (photos to the right).   By spending time in the Basilica, a pilgrim comes to
realize that Christianity was, and still is, a religion of Light in the darkness as emphasized by the Gospel of John.  The Fourth
Gospel which lacks a birth narrative.  Below the Basilicais a grotto which has the earlier claim as the birthplace of Jesus.  
Interestingly, the compound of this ancient site is shared by the Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic
authorities.  The Roman Catholic and Protestant denominations observe Christmas on December 25, the Greek, Coptic and Syrian
Orthodox Christians on January 6, and the Armenian Orthodox Christians on January 19.  Adjoining the Basilica is the Church of
Saint Catherine which is built in a modern Gothic revival style and this is the Church  where the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem
celebrates Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.  The photographs to the right and below show the Church of Saint Catherine.  
Charleston C. K. Wang, December 24, 2010.
The Cave at Shepherds' Field
This is a fisheye photo by Charleston C K Wang - The Cave at Shepherds' Field
To view "In Search
of the Messianic
Secret - Caesarea
Phillipi," click
To view
"Herodion:  A
Fortress During the
Gospels," click

To read "The
Wilderness of
Abraham, Jesus &
Israel- Palestine,"  
To view "The Call
for Simon Peter,
Fisherman," click

To read
"Descending to the
Dead Sea and
Ascending to
Qumran,"  click
To read "Jury
for Jericho,"  
Bethlehem is also the site of the Tomb of Rachel (which means "ewe" but honored as Emainu, i.e. "Our Mother.").  "Then was fulfilled what had been spoken
through the prophet Jeremiah: A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children she refused to be consoled,
because they are no more."   
Matthew 2.18:17-18.

The city was visited by the Prophet Muhammad when he was traveling to Jerusalem for the Midnight Journey.  At the time of writng, the city lies inside the
West Bank and is administered by the Palestinian Authority and has a population of 27,000 of whom about two thirds are Muslim and one third are Christians.
To read "The
Road to
Click on any photograph for larger view