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Sunday, December 18, 2011
This morning in church, Pastor Lou was reading a new version of the gospel of Luke. It was from the Contemporary English Version (CEV) of the Bible. This translation is so new that it just came out last summer. In this version it is said that Mary laid her firstborn son in a manger, "Because there was no place for them in the guest room". This new phraseology got my attention right away.
This new way of telling the story opens up an interesting take on the story. The translation suggests, just from that one little change, that it was not a cold impersonal innkeeper that put Joseph and family in the stable, but his own family. As you recall, Joseph went to Bethlehem to register and pay his taxes, because it was his hometown. If you think you have difficult in-laws imagine how Mary felt. Here she is away from home,pregnant and, as we say back in Holabird, ready to pop.On top of that, her husband's family puts them out in the cold smelly stable.
This doesn't take away from the traditional wonder of the story, in fact it lends a whole new true to life layer to it. Joseph's own family had no room for Jesus in their home! Powerful stuff! It helps me to cherish my own family all the more! We don't always get along, words get said, feelings get hurt, but when family comes to the door, they are always welcome. At least I always am! I hope this Christmas, we can all welcome Jesus into our homes as a part of the family. God be with you and do the best you can!
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