Day 7, Jan 13

13 JAN ~  Friday ~ Bethlehem, Shepherds' Fields, New Jerusalem ~   Bethlehem is very close to Jerusalem.  In addition to being the birth place of Jesus, Bethlehem was also the birthplace of David (1 Samuel 17:12), the residence of Ruth and Boaz (Ruth 4:11) and the resting place of the matriarch Rachel (Genesis 35:19.)  Passing Rachel’s Tomb en-route, we entered the West Bank and met our local Palestinian guides for our visit to the Church of the Nativity. We had Mass at the Church of St Catherine’s beside the Church of the Nativity. East of Bethlehem we visited the Shepherds' Fields, where the angels heralded Christ's birth (Luke 2: 8-10.)  At our lunch stop we had a chance to dance to some Arabic music. Finally we visited a Christian shop that sells olive wood, jewelry and antiquities. It is important to support Christian brethren in the West Bank.