12 Days of Christmas (Carols) Day 2
“Away in a manger no crib for the babe…”
With these soft and gentle words we are reminded that there was no room for the Holy Family as they ventured to Bethlehem. We are reminded that the Holy Family were essentially refugees.
Two unwed teenagers searching for a place to stay — searching for health care.
The lyric is often attributed to Martin Luther (although there is no historical proof of this).
Nevertheless, during one of his fiery Christmas Day sermons though, he did offer a powerful related challenge:
“And don’t let you people in this congregation think you’d have done any better if you were there. I can just hear you say, 'Oh, we would have loved to take care of the Baby Jesus. We would have washed his diapers.’ No you wouldn’t! If you’d been there you wouldn’t have done a bit better, and if you think you would, why don’t you do it for your neighbor in your midst, who is Christ among you?”
I know, he’s a bit negative in thinking that no one in his congregation would’ve welcomed the holy family, but can you just sit with the challenge?
How do we treat refugees? How do we treat unwed pregnant teenagers? How do we welcome strangers in our lives? How do we make those different than us or who have different support needs feel welcomed?
How do we treat our neighbor who is Christ among us? How can we ensure that all the dear children are blessed and held in tender care?