Wednesday, October 31, 2012

a modern Nativity

 Bob and I have been reading about life in the slums of Calcutta c. 1970, in a beautiful book called CITY OF JOY by Dominique Lapierre.  There was a movie some years back, taken from a section of the book (a movie I never saw, with Patrick Swayze), which covered only a small portion of this gripping nonfiction story.

As I read the book, I realized that Jesus came to be among the poor, not the comfortable.  When he was born, Bethlehem was full of travelers, and Mary and Joseph were just two more strangers in a crowded town.  The place they were offered for the birth of the child was only available because nobody else wanted it.  They would have empathized with migrant workers, with slum dwellers, with all the unwelcome and uncared-about of the world.

So when I was thinking about Christmas images, I looked for pictures of migrant workers, of poor people in various parts of the world for my references.  Mary and Joseph have a spot in a run down and junk-strewn part of town, but they are glad to have someplace, and in God's love, it is turned into a place of light.