Thursday, December 17, 2015

Bethlehem Peace Light

In Bethlehem, Israel, resides one of the oldest continuously operating churches in the world, the Church of the Nativity. It is built over the cave traditionally believed to be the birthplace of Jesus. The current basilica was built in 565 AD, replacing the original which was built in 333 AD. The site where Jesus was believed to have been born is marked by a 14 pointed star, and illuminated by lamps that have been continuously burning for as long as anyone can remember.

On November 22nd 2008, Marlene Irndorfer an 11‐year‐old schoolgirl from Altenberg in Linz Austria, collected the 2008 Peace Light from one of the lamps at the site where it is believed that Jesus was born.

Each year, a child from Upper Austria fetches the light from the grotto in Bethlehem where Jesus was born. The light is then flown to Austria from where it is distributed at a Service of Dedication to delegations from across Europe who take it back, with a message of Peace, to their own countries for use at ecumenical services throughout the Continent. Scouts and Guides can then take the light on to houses of worship, hospitals, homeless shelters, old people homes, prisons, and places of public, cultural and political importance - to anybody who appreciates the significance of the "gift".

The BSA Grand Canyon Council will be sharing the light from 10am to noon, on Saturday, December 19th. Come and share in a short devotion, and take the light from Bethlehem home with you. Bring a suitable candle or lantern to transport it.