Some two thousand years ago, as ancient stories tell us, a young couple traveled through the desert for many days to participate in a census, mandated by the ruling power. She was pregnant, and the journey was hard. When her time to deliver came, no one would take them in, and they sought refuge in a stable, bunking down with the animals. And so this humble stable entered the lore as the birthplace of a future great teacher and healer.
What great teachers, healers, poets, scientists, friends are being turned away today, forced by circumstances of their heritage to be designated as other, stranger, unwanted and unwelcome? Think of the technological and social advances that have happened in the 2,000 years since Jesus’ birth, and yet… in the area of hospitality we seem to be turning backward, back to fearing the stranger and holding tight onto what we think of as “ours,” unwilling to share so that we might all have enough. This is what Jesus taught, and what ancient peoples knew to be true – that we are called to welcome the stranger as a friend and to open ourselves and offer all that we have to the common good. In this Holiday Season, may we all both experience and offer that welcome and let us work together to hold accountable those who set the policies and hold the purse strings that might make this nation truly a land of the free, a refuge for those in danger, and a welcoming place for those seeking new opportunity. We have enough to share, and so, our faith tells us, we must. May it be so.
Blessings of the season to you,