>A child is born

>Well done R. We have known you since you were four – and now, 14 years later, you have given birth to a son. Good luck to you, to R and your partner, and to your Mum and all the family who will be in the supporters’ club.
A long time ago in Bethlehem another baby was born. The baby’s grandparents must have wished it was all otherwise – knowing that bringing a baby into the world is hard enough in itself, let alone when the political powers herd you like cattle (the “round up” in Bethlehem) and when you’ve got a cruel king like Herod breathing down your neck.
Tonight, in the city of Liverpool, the Year of Culture is being launched with the Liverpool Nativity being shown on BBC3. One of the shots shows Mary and Joseph at the bus stop. It looks like they are waiting for the bus to go and “sign on” at the DSS. They have a battered suitcase and plastic bag for their journey and are surrounded by the rubbish of an outer estate bus stop on a cold winter’s day – including overturned shopping trolley.

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