As the crowds gathered for the lighting of the Christmas tree one could feel the excitement in the air. This was a first for the Christian community living in Jerusalem and to have such a celebration in a public place. The area immediately outside the Old City Walls near Jaffa Gate is where, only days before, our Jewish brothers and sisters had celebrated Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights. The Jerusalem municipality had said yes to the request for the Christian community to gather in the same plaza for several days during the week before Christmas.
It was a beautiful winter evening and the plaza was filled with families who seemed to delight in the questions posed by their children as they scrambled to get closer to the figures in the crib. The entertainment drew everyone into jovial mood and the vendors were more interested in chatting about how great it was to be there and if one did buy something it was appreciated as a bonus! It was also encouraging to meet and chat with many members of the different Christian denominations.
Ecce Homo Community nds