Born in a stable?
For two thousand years, innkeepers have had some of the worst PR imaginable. Every year, in pre-schools and playgroups, schools and churches, Mary and Joseph are turned away by an innkeeper before finding shelter in a stable.
But was Jesus really born in a stable, having been turned away from an over-full inn by a grumpy innkeeper? I’m suggesting in one of my Christmas sermons that if you really read the gospel narratives then a different story emerges. With help from a bit of Greek grammar, and knowing the culture and archaeology of the day, the picture emerges of Jesus being born in the heart of a home along with the regular family and the animals.
That is to say, the story is one of inclusion, not exclusion. The coming of Christ comes not at arms length, but at the heart of family life and to in the midst of everyday life in a Bethlehem home.
Here are three sources which have helped me in my thinking.
This isn’t to rain on your parade or spoil your Christmas. I certainly wouldnt want to fall out with anyone who sees this differently. But I hope it might give us a different perspective on the Christmas story, and encourage us once more to live out the good at the heart of our families and for the blessing of our communities.
November 25, 2022
November 24, 2022
November 18, 2022