Day 5: All Day Bethlehem and the Birth of Our Lord
by Steve Ray on February 20, 2023
Today is always a favorite for a lot of our pilgrims. At 8 o’clock we drive through the “security fence“ into Bethlehem. It’s really not a fence, but a 30 foot wall. Israel built that wall to protect themselves from terrorists who came into Jerusalem from Bethlehem — and since they built the wall, the terrorism attacks with bombs have stopped. It’s been over 10 years.
We arrive at the olivewood store where people love to do their Christmas shopping and bring back religious items as memories of the trip. Mass in a cave at Shepherds Field and then Shawarma sandwiches.
From there we go to the Church of Nativity and jostle with the crowds to touch the birthplace of Jesus in the grotto below. We pray the Mystery of the Nativity there.
Next is our whole lamb dinner, which is always quite an event for our folks. Then the young Christian Dabka dancers come out in their traditional dress and do a performance for us before all of us get up and dance with them. It’s a hilarious and rumpus good time. (The dancing is on a separate Vimeo video) Then back to the hotel in Jerusalem.