While it is a privilege for many of us to go to a safe home for the holidays, this is not the only way one can find joy in Christmas. In fact, there was no magical “homecoming” involved during the first Christmas event 2,000 years ago.
For Mary and Joseph, life was chaotic and unstable. When Mary was near the end of her pregnancy, she and Joseph had to travel by foot or donkey from Nazareth to Bethlehem to register for the census. While there, she went into labor and gave birth to her baby in a dirty, stinky stable because there was no room for her in the inn.
This first Christmas was not a magical holiday homecoming story full of family turkey dinners, carol singing and football games.
Rather, the first Christmas is a refugee story.