So they are building a luxury hotel, turning that dingy car park into a shopping mall, and attempting to turn poor Bethlehem into a place where tourists will want to stay and spend their money. International donations of $40 million are helping with the project. But there are charges of local political corruption, of money lining politicians’ pockets, and the whole project is bogged town in administrative red tape. What else is new?
Poor Bethlehem — grimy, politically corrupt, caught between two warring peoples. Hardly the place for a celebration of Christmas. Yet in this tiny town the birth of Christianity happened just as the prophets of old had said.
But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a ruler who will shepherd My people Israel. (Matthew 2:6)