Bethlehem, the day after.

The day after

The Joseph family of the house and lineage of David had spent the previous night in the family quarters of the Inn in which there was no room. As I have sprouted before, it would indeed have been strange for Joseph’s fellow Davidites to have left the family out in the cold considering they were all related.

Each one was sent, everyone to his birthplace where they were counted and Joseph would have registered Mary and Jesus as co-members of the House of David. So there was no room in the Inn, well a blessing really, such places were not really the best place to be born. “O Jesus, where were you born?” ‘O, in the local Inn (Pub), much better to say -‘ in the Landlord’s own rooms.’

So what of the next day, the one we call the Feast of Stephen? This one gave his life for his belief in who this child would become. Well, a visit from the Shepherds was in order,( After tuneful choirs of Angels trilled Jesus provenance) they were, the shepherds,not the angels the dregs of the earth yet privy to the majesty of the occasion and the infant. Having checked out the swaddling bands and the stone mangers they hied of to Bethlehem town square to sound out the news –  and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them- out of belief or disbelief? Shepherds were not even allowed to give witness in court, Christ was to become the Good Shepherd to differentiate himself from the riff raf who had visited him as a babe.

We realize that God, the Heavenly Father is telling us that Jesus as a humble child, received by the outcasts, was a king greeted first of all by serfs rather than princes. But it’s fun to be glib because our wrath also teaches.

The infant is named and circumcised 8 days later and given the name ‘Jesus’ as the angel had said before his conception, the 8th day in the Ocatave of Christmas for good observant RCs. Holy Family Day.

Another 5 weeks later the Holy Family go up to Jerusalem for Mary’s purification, and to dedicate their firstborn son to God, buying the simple offering of two doves to ensure her post-partum cleanliness. Does anyone remember the Anglican Service of the ‘Churching of women’? I remember going with my mother to be ‘churched’ after she gave birth to my sister. Six weeks after giving birth it was, and one didn’t go to church until then. Sort of similar, these old testament concepts of the uncleanliness of blood.

Old Simeon and Anna waiting for the Promised one.“This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

Anna was a devout soul proclaiming to the people of the child, we don’t know what she said but it is enough to know that whatever this was it would have been noised abroad.

Mary marvelled and pondered these things, and at this stage it is rather a good thing that her heart had no answers to give yet. To bear the burden of the knowledge their son was a child born to be murdered.

39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.(Luke 2)

Some 12 years later a prodigy confounds the Pharisees and scribes in their Temple and drives his parents half-mad with the loss of him. In hindsight or hind-read, smirk at the comprehension of our discernment of the Text through the gift of the Holy Spirit-we realize …Luke is setting the scene for the remainder of the book. But we wouldn’t have known unless we had read it first, or cheated by peeking at the ending.

No royalty appear in this version, supposedly Mary was the Source – did Matthew lie, or did Mary forget??