Sunday, 19 March 2017

The Church of the Nativity

Imagine having to travel, knowing that you were so close to giving birth and not just to an ordinary child, but the Son of God!  We all know from the infancy narrative, that there was "no room in the inn." Rami explained to us that this may not have been entirely true.

According to the Jewish ritual laws, giving birth made a house unclean and it would have been 40 days before the house could be "open for business again."  It is likely that someone known to Mary and Joseph took pity on them and invited them to use the second room (where the animals such as chickens were kept) and as we know, Mary gave birth there, laying Jesus in a manger.

At the Basilica, we entered the Grotto of the Nativity, a rectangular cavern beneath the church. We descended a flight of steps near the church altar.  This is the cave that has been honoured as the site of Christ's birth since at least the second century.

We had but a moment to touch or venerate this most sacred site.  The steps were worn from the footsteps of the millions of pilgrims who have visited the site before us.  

Though the moment was fleeting, it is one that we will never forget.

In what times and places have you felt the presence of the Holy Spirit?

1 comment:

  1. Macey 'At church we feel Holy Spirit', 'When I pray before football to be safe I feel the Holy Spirit'. Luke M. 'At home when the family is together at Christmas time' Liam.