Anywhere but here . . .
Any time but now . . .
But the animals knew . . .
We get out the Nativity sets each year and inevitably there is a cow or a sheep who is either missing completely or missing a part. We set them in order; then we place the wise men, then the shepherds, and finally Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus.
"No room at the inn," the narrative goes at the Christmas pageant. Just this past week a major snowstorm closed the Denver airport. People are stranded, and Iím sure that the hotels in the area are packed and turning people away. It was no different in Jesusí day.
The "Inn" was not an "Embassy Suites" resort. It was called a Khan and the particular one they probably stopped at in Bethlehem was the stopping off point for travelers to Egypt. Remember that the reason for the trip in the first place was the tax being imposed on the subjects of Rome. Could it be that there was no room for the holy family because there were lots of people going to Egypt to escape the taxing situation?
And so they were forced to huddle up in a limestone cave used to house the livestock. This was not the best place and it certainly was not the best time but as I wrote earlier, the animals knew. What I love about Nativity scenes is that I always picture the animals in their primal relationship to the creator (we humans are far more complicated).
I used to play with the figurines when I was a small child. I used to make the cows and the sheep bow and kiss the baby Jesus. Maybe I wasnít so far off as I thought.
Have a blessed Christmas
Copyright 2006 by Jim Jenkins. All rights reserved.