We have, increasingly, confused our thoughts and ideas about Christmas ….not just about what it means spiritually but about the reality of the area where it occurred, Bethlehem.  Our Western European notions of the scenes in the Judean hills started to include the bucolic, pastoral scenes of shepherds in the fields tending their flock on a snowy night as Mary wrapped the new born Christ in swaddling.

Except that, really, snow in the Middle East, even in those days, is really really rare.  True, things were different back then.  The weather and habitability of the areas were obviously different from they are today, especially if you consider that the deserts of north Africa used to be lush enough to support Hannibal and his elephants.  And when David and Solomon ruled, there were obviously more trees and forest resources (to build the Temple, or Phoenician fleets) than there are now.

So when I saw these pictures, I had to do a double take.  It would appear that there are some obvious things suggesting climate change.  Snow in Cairo, as an example.  Correlation does not prove causation…..but shouldn’t it be considered?

cairo snow

From Huffington Post UK, attributed to AmrElGabrytweet



Jerusalem, from





Jerusalem snow



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