Monday, December 26, 2011

Born Again!

Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus!
 This year we made a new nativity scene, doing our best to replicate what the builders of first century Palestine would have used.  Our Sunday School families came together during the Sundays of Advent to not only rehearse for the Christmas pageant, but also to build stone houses like Joseph the "Carpenter" (tekton) would have built and lived in.
 It was messy but pretty fun!!
 Of course the Dreckmans (2nd picture on right), McWilliams (below), and Siegerts had to make it a little competition.  Diane put their family name next to our house after our first building session! 
 Our kids re-claimed our house and put the "McWilliams" sign back by their house, covered up with a pile of stones. So Christian of us;)

 We were going to cheat and use glue, but we didn't have to.  The mortar held nicely.
In our studies of the true meaning of the Biblical term used for "inn", we have learned that there was no inn/hotel as we think of in our western culture, but rather the word used for "inn" was "kataluma" which refers to the upper room.  Many Palestinian homes would have had an upper room for guests, and since Joseph and Mary were returning to Bethlehem to register for the Census, it is likely that many of Joseph's other relatives would have gathered in a relative's home there...thus there was no room for Mary and Joseph in the guest room.  They were given the lower room which was used for storage and to house the most valuable animals during cold nights.  The manger? Yes.  The "no-room-at-the hotel"? No.  Yet still a humble beginning for the King of Kings.
Merry Christmas to all!  May there always be room in our hearts for this Baby and His meaning!

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.  (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.)  And everyone went to their own town to register.

 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.  He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.  While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,  and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.--Luke 2: 1-7


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