We are in the “between times”. We celebrate the birth of Christ and continue that celebration for 12 days and then we celebrate the coming of the “wise men from the East”. But it is in the between times that my imagination runs wild. How long did they stay in the stable? Did the innkeeper finally find a room? How long did it take to “register”? Was Roman efficency like our government so that Joseph had to fill out a WD40, or whatever they call that thing, five times because he got five different sets of instructions from 5 different bureacrats? Was Jesus a tax deduction? When did he finally get a house? We know they were living in a house in Bethlehem because that is what Matthew says. The star led them to a house where they found Mary and the baby. How long from the time the wise men saw the star until they came to the house? Herod seems to have thought it could have been almost two years which is why he murdered the boy babies under the age of two.
I would love to go to Bethlehem. Not the tourist trap – buy a plastic manger scene – AK47 guarded place that it is today, but whatever it was back then. The romance of our celebration and our Divine Worship on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day might take a beating but I would still have loved to have seen it. The utter simplicity of the scene and the hidden panic of the parents; the adoration by outcasts; and that bright light in the heavens must have been a wondrous sight. I tried to capture that in this song.
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