Updated: Jul 26
Bethlehem – the heart of the Holy Land, the cradle of Christianity wherein the holy Church of Nativity, mother Mary gave birth to baby Jesus. Pilgrims travel from all corners of the world to witness the magnificence of the holy city. It is scary not just for Christians but for all believers of Abrahamic faith Muslims and Jews. Despite being inside a politically controversial area, one cannot stop himself from absorbing the peace and history of the city in every sense. But the journey to Bethlehem is not just about visiting the Church or enjoying the history and culture, it has the deep significance of reaching into one's inner self.
Only a soul that has a craving to search the truth that lies in the deep core of his human self will have a real meaningful journey to the Holy Land. As a tourist, you will just watch all the tension and turmoil happening in the name of religions but if you see it beyond the religion and political issue, the true sense of the singularity of God and his believers will be felt. True and inner peace can be found not by collecting information but by feeling the presence of Almighty as a part of yourself.
Christmas is the celebration of the core spirit of mankind to have faith in the unknown, to seek out the truth, and to be ever curious. Mary and Jesus took the road to Bethlehem without knowing what lied ahead of them just because they had faith. The story of Christianity teaches you to leap of faith into the unknown and having a strong belief in the voice of your heart. The Shepherds took the journey to Bethlehem leaving their flocks just by their faith in the voice of God. Later, the same spirit gave courage to the voyagers to visit the unknown land in modern times to find true freedom.
Being in Bethlehem, the presence of all those brave and faithful pilgrims can be felt in the air. Such experience teaches us that the joy of human life doesn't need to be all around us. God has placed it everything and it is up to us to experience it. One must not lose his inclination to God and the spiritual experiences, it is very important for man’s living spirit.
And what is a better occasion to remember and realize that than Christmas? The spirit of Christmas is not just about the celebration and gifts and family, of course, those of very important but don’t forget to visit your Bethlehem, all of us has our own Bethlehem inside us.
Dr. Girija Wagh