By: Duane Blankenship | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: December 2010
Visit the stable and hear about the birth of a mysterious child some 2,000 years ago.
Christview Christian Church presents the 12th annual Bethlehem Walk to the Tulsa community December 2-5 at their campus at 2525 S. Garnett. Bethlehem Walk is a 45-minute guided outdoor walking tour through Tulsa’s most exciting and realistic nativity. The path is lighted, and there are golf carts available for the handicapped or disabled.
Longtime Christview Christian Church members Jim and Paula Scott have served as directors of the Bethlehem Walk committee for the past several years. This presentation features a cast of nearly 200 authentically dressed Roman soldiers, beggars, lepers, heavenly angels, shepherds, Mary, Joseph and the Christ Child. The church maintains a costume room with more than 200 costumes made “as authentically as possible.”
Reservations are not mandatory but are encouraged. Large groups are welcome. If your group needs an English-to-Spanish interpreter, please advise the church office when you make your reservation. Admission is free, and Bethlehem Walk attracts viewers from a six-state area. Last year, more than 2,400 guests attended.
Individuals and groups congregate in the church’s auditorium. Everyone is then assigned to a family and to a guide who is also the “family head.” Some participants will be given Roman coins with which to pay taxes as they enter Nazareth. You may even be “hassled” by Roman guards along the road as you march to Bethlehem. You will readily figure out, everyone becomes part of the production. A tax collector receives your family’s taxes, and your family representative will be asked to “make his mark” in the record book. Don’t try to hold back any coins for yourself – tax collectors can get nasty!
Along your route you will encounter angels with silvery white robes and shepherds kneeling in fields. You will visit three wise men and their camels and will be asked if you have seen the star in the east. As you enter the bazaar area, you will enjoy tasting some of the food samples. There will be shops with baskets, jewelry, fruit and nuts, rugs and more. Half the fun of the evening is interacting with the characters, especially when the shepherds invite you to join them at their camp to enjoy their nice, warm fire.
As you journey on, you will likely see beggars and lepers. Please don’t touch! To do so is “punishable by death.”
You will discover that there are no rooms available in Bethelem. One innkeeper announces that he actually put up a man and his wife with child in a stable down the street. It was the last available vacancy in the city.
Near the end of your walk, you will fast-forward 33 years as you encounter three crosses on a hillside and visit the tomb area where the body of Christ the Savior has gone missing. An angel will appear and read an appropriate scripture.
At the conclusion of your walk, you are invited back to Fellowship Hall, where you will visit homes and courtyards of ancient times. Children may make a fabric doll, play games, pet rabbits and chickens, and enjoy cider and cookies.
The evening is entertaining and educational for all, plus a tremendous outreach to the Tulsa community by Christview Christian Church.
The reservations hotline is (918) 407-9195. Operators are on duty from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. each day, or you may leave a message anytime and an operator will contact you and schedule your time. You may also visit the website, click the Special Events link, and make your reservation.
Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.