Christmas Greetings from Taybeh

Posted on Dec 25, 2018

by Maria Khoury

From the Land of Christ’s holy birth, wishing all of you a healthy, blessed Merry Christmas!

Here in the Holy Land we celebrate Christmas three times! Today, Bethlehem is the place to be to celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace. The Orthodox Holy Nativity Liturgy will take place in the early hours of January 7th and the Orthodox Armenian community will celebrate the birth of our Lord on the same day as the Holy Epiphany according to the Old Julian calendar which falls on January 19th. Thus, three scout parades, three patriarchs and thousands of faithful proclaiming the “Good News,” from ancient Palestine. And, according to the late Pope John Paul during his historic pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 2000, his most famous words ring in my head, “in the hearts of Christians, it is Christmas every day.” I just love the joy, peace and happiness this quote reflects. Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

Despite all of the hardships and the harshness of Israeli occupation, it has been another record-breaking calendar year for tourism to the Holy Land with over three million visitors to the West Bank not including visitors to Jerusalem which all of the local indigenous people see as the capital of Palestine. Well, maybe not in my life time. But we continue to keep our hope that we too will be a free people like all people around the world. It has been a great blessing to receive visitors from all corners of the world here at the Taybeh Golden Hotel, literally not having any room at the inn for the fall months. We pray and hope for peace and stability so many can be enriched by walking the footsteps of Christ. We ask our friends not to be afraid to plan pilgrimages since our political situation does not appear it will change. But we ask all of you to pray for a just peace in Israel/Palestine.

“Do not be afraid; for see-I am bringing to you good news of great joy for all the people…to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah,  the Lord…” (Luke 2:10-12)

With sincere good wishes on this holy day from one of the most ancient places in the Holy Land,