Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas thought

Maybe everyone else already knew this, and I'm just the last to catch on, but it occurred to me the other day that all those people we place in our Nativity scenes would have been ineligible to go to the temple and worship God. The shepherds as a profession were considered ritually iunclean and were banned from temple and synagogue. Mary would never have got further than the Court of Women at the best of times and now, having just given birth to a male child, she was ritually unclean for 40 days. Joseph presumably had helped her through her labour (if they couldn't find a room, I don't like their chances of finding a midwife) and so, having been in physical contact with her, he was unclean as well. And yes, we know the wise men (of indeterminate number) didn't turn up till some time after the event, but they're part of the story. And they were Gentiles. They would never have got past the outermost court of the temple.

But unto those who could not come to God, a child was born and a Son was given. And His name was Immanuel, God with us.

1 comment:

Kevin Knox said...

Ha! Brilliant. :-)

I'll need to file this away somewhere. That's cool.