Rev. Kate Hurst Floyd
Holy Covenant United Methodist Church
December 24, 2010
Mary wonders: Where is my place?
Will anyone love me, accept me? After all, I’m a pregnant teenager, 14 and unwed; a child myself, not ready to care for another child. My family has disowned me: my sisters and brothers, once my truest companions, won’t even look at me and my swelling belly. My mother only talks to me about my impurity, instead of giving me advice and support. Even my friends push me away, for they think I’ve gone crazy—telling them stories about angels of God visiting me. Nobody believes I’m really a virgin. And maybe they’re right—did I really see an angel? Has my pregnancy made me hallucinate? Where is there a place for me, a girl with no friends, no husband, no money, who has crazy visions?
Joseph wonders: Where is my place?
I’m traveling to my home city, Bethlehem, to be counted yet again. The government doesn’t care who I am, what I care about….they just see me as a number. A number to be counted so they can take more of my money. All I want is a safe and comfortable home, nothing fancy, but to be able to feed my fiancé and our new child without worrying where our next piece of fish or loaf of bread will come from. But the government is so oppressive that everyone in our town is kept in severe poverty, while the emperor feasts day in and day out. Will I have a place when I return home, a place to make a home for my family?
Mary and Joseph wonder as they wander; but they don’t have much time to dwell on the big picture, their place in the universe—what they really need right now is just a place to stay the night. Mary can’t walk much farther, and Joseph needs to be up early in the morning to get a good place in line for the census. Every motel they pass has a “no vacancy” sign out front; their distant relatives have already taken in other distant relatives and don’t even have a spare patch of floor. Finally, they knock on the door of the last inn on the edge of town and the innkeeper answers. They ask, expectantly, is there a place for us? (more…)