In February this year we were unable to visit Bethlehem because of current troubles in Israel. Since then, the situation has become worse and some buildings in Bethlehem have been shelled. The conflict has both a distant past and a recent history. Some Palestinians have no room at all for Jews in that land, and some Jews have no room for any Palestinians.
Some 2000 years ago in Bethlehem, Jesus was born in a stable and laid in a cattle feed-box – because there was no room for them to stay in the inn.
Do we have room for Jesus - at Christmas and in the rest of our lives? And do we have room for others - especially for the sick, the lonely, the unwanted...?
Include Christ, and have a happy Christmas!

© Peter J. Blackburn, Burdekin newspapers, December 2001