“And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” ~ Luke 2:10-11
Each year 2,000 people walk the hills and trails of the local farm, stepping back in time to “Bethlehem Revisited.” A living nativity experience that seeks to bring to life the “good news of a great joy.” It is an outreach event that invites surrounding communities to join a guided walking tour in which the group interacts with prophets proclaiming the coming one, watches as a girl named Mary learns that she will be with child, navigates their way through the crowded town of Bethlehem, observes shepherds out in a field as they become part of an amazing visitation, and stops a moment at the manger where Mary and Joseph wonder at the miracle of the Christ child. The tour continues with scenes from the life of Christ and the overwhelming truth and hope of the Resurrection.
No red carpet… just trails of hay and dirt. No dignitaries…just the residents of the stable. No gold lined crib…just a hand-hewn wooden manger that the sheep and donkeys had been eating from. Yet in the presence of these simple creatures the God of the universe was born. Guests who visit Bethlehem Revisited will experience the story that comes to life, as they trudge the paths, smell the “reality” of a barnyard, hear with their ears the crowd in the inn, the donkey=s bray . . .the simplicity of the greatest event of all times, the incarnation of our Saviour. For some, it may be the very first time that they have heard or seen this message; for others it is the first time their imaginations have been baptized with the truth of Incarnational Reality; for others it is simply a time for their imaginations to be stirred once again into a sense of worship of the One they serve. The birth of Christ is more than a historical event: it has crucial relevance for every man, woman and child.
This event includes a cast of nearly 100 costumed people, live animals, and narration played out on a farm in the flint hills of Kansas. It begins for the guests as they arrive at the Welcome Center in Keats Park, Keats Kansas. There they will be met by hosts who will direct them into a heated building where they will be welcomed with hot chocolate, home made cookies, and live music. From the Welcome Center guests will take a short bus ride to the farm where their guide and his assistant will lead them on their approximately forty minute walk through the flint hills of Kansas.
Come listen to Moses, David, Isaiah and others foretell the coming of the King. Walk through the crowded street of Bethlehem where vendors are oblivious to the momentous occasion of your visit. Come see the busy innkeeper and the young pregnant couple who were denied residence by him. Watch the angels tell good news to shepherds. Come witness the empty cross and the open tomb and hear the next chapter of the story.
Frequently asked questions
Does it cost to attend?
Bethlehem is a free event; there are no costs for attendees. We offer this Christmas activity as a service to everyone in the community.
Do I need to bring my ticket?
Please do. We provide tickets for those who wish to attend. The tickets are for particular nights and times; they help us manage the group sizes and give the attendee a better chance of getting in a group in a timely manner.
Where and when can I get my ticket?
Tickets are to Varney’s, Staples, and The Manhattan Running Company.. They will also be available at Grace Baptist Church on Sundays.
The tickets will be available at the stores beginning Friday, November 22 until they are depleted.
Groups of ten or more may request time slots by contacting us starting in the beginning of November and we will not be able to accommodate those requests after the middle of November. If you would like to be a part of this ministry, please let us know by clicking here.
How long does it take to complete the tour to Bethlehem?
The tour should take about fifty minutes.
How should I dress to attend Bethlehem Revisited?
Since it is winter and you will be outdoors for the entire journey, plan to wear layered, warm clothing; shoes should be sturdy and comfortable. Hand warmers, scarves, mittens, etc., are good ideas.
Is there any accommodation for those who cannot walk the trails?
Bethlehem revisited is equipped with two upholstered carts to assist our guests who find it difficult to walk through the entire experience with the groups. The Welcome Center should be advised of the need when the guest arrives and the cart will be ready to take 1-2 people through when the group arrives at the farm.
What about cancellations due to weather?
If there is any doubt that the tours may be cancelled due to weather, check with the Grace Baptist web site or call Nancy Swihart 785-539-1373 or Sara Troyer 785-537-0828.
Bethlehem Revisited begins at Keats Park. Keats is located 5 miles north west of Manhattan, Kansas. From Manhattan, follow Anderson west to the town of Keats.
The living nativity experience of Bethlehem Revisited is a free event, but tickets are required. This event will always take place the first weekend in December.