Bethlehem and Holy Places: What Makes a Space Sacred?


DOMAIN THIRTY-THREE

bethlehem(A Sermon Delivered at the McMaster Divinity College Chapel on 10 December 2018)

Today is the last chapel of the term at McMaster Divinity College, where this year we have been focusing on the theme of “holy places.” Throughout the term, we’ve had our speakers focus on various aspects of holy places, especially on various personal places that have meant something special to each one of us. Given the season we are currently in, I am speaking today on Bethlehem as a holy place.

Bethlehem is a holy place for obvious reasons, since it was the place where David was anointed and Jesus was born. Despite some scholarly controversy over whether Bethlehem was the city where Jesus was born, it is a city that is of itself relatively unimpressive. It is currently located in the Palestinian sector of the West Bank territory. This is historic Jewish territory, but is now…

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