In the manger
• Christmas: the Nativity; sharing what we have with loved ones and all those around us; the giving of gifts; and a time for peace reconciliation, love and togetherness. The new year that follows comes with resolutions and a fresh start.
These are the images and thoughts conjured in our minds when we, in this part of the world, think of Christmas. However, it's quite a different tale today for the people that live in the part of the world where the first Christmas story was told.
If Joseph and Mary were to arrive in Bethlehem today, it would be a very different place to what was described in the Bible. Checkpoints with soldiers holding semi-automatic weapons would demand your passport or id card, and ask where you are going. Not having the correct documents to hand could mean being turned away.