The Bethlehem Peace centre and the Belen Exhibition

Written by Marisha Carter | Dec 29th, 2020

Five years ago I had the  privilege to go the Holy land. Many churches and places of Biblical interest were visited as you would imagine. Having celebrated the Nativity of our Lord it reminded me of my visit to Bethlehem. One can't go there without a visit to the Church of the Nativity which was built over the place which it is thought Jesus was born. It is now far removed from what was in my mind's eye of His birth place but still a moving place where hundreds and thousands have worshipped over generations.

Also in Manger Square is the Peace centre which was built to celebrate the Millennium. What took my interest was an exhibition of Nativity scenes from around the world. It was a bit of a surprise. Many countries from Japan, to Africa, Russia and the European countries had produced in their eyes what they imagined the stable with the Mary, Joseph, shepherds, kings and the baby Jesus looked like.

We all know that Jesus was Jewish and no doubt would have looked like anyone the Middle East. However, in the scenes produced were Chinese looking people, African people, people in their National costumes from around the world  representing the Holy family. 

It made me think..... for generations Jesus has been portrayed as a white person so was it so wrong for other countries to portray Him looking like their people. Who am I to say how He should be viewed in the mind's eye? If I were to ask anyone what they thought he would like I am sure each view would be different. Even here in Tenerife we have black Madonnas. 

Jesus came for all and died for all

Jesus came for all and died for all, regardless of colour or nationality. His own looks, or ours are not too important; he came to save that which is more than skin deep, our very Souls.


Courtesy of  Elizabeth Thomas of her nativity scenes; one from Peru and the other from Africa.