We've passed Christmas. For the most part, we've left it far behind. Maybe you still have your lights up. Maybe you're still returning gifts that didn't quite fit. But you're off to the New Year.
But I found myself today thinking about Christmas, and looking at it through a slightly different lens.
What if the Christmas Story was an Immigration Story?
Jesus: I was born into poverty, in a strange place.
YoSteve: Your parents were immigrants?
Jesus: No, well, kind of. My mother was from here. So was my step-father.
YoSteve: But your biological father?
Jesus: Some people don't believe it, but he's actually not from this planet.
YoSteve: So, you're part alien. I knew it. That whole walking on water thing.
Jesus: [Laughs politely]
YoSteve: Anti-gravity space sandals. Where can I get some of those?
Jesus: An alien, but not that kind of alien.
YoSteve: Do you have papers? A green card?
Jesus: No, I didn't get any of that.
YoSteve: I know this is a pointed question, but are you here legally?
Jesus: Does it matter?
Another way of looking at the Christmas Story as an Immigration Story is to see God as the owner of the land. Under God's ownership, the world spoke a certain language, the language of love and faithfulness.
But look around and that's no longer what you see. The language of love and faithfulness is hard to find. Everywhere you look that language has been warped and twisted, abandoned. And God's ownership of the land has been denied. By me. And you. And people like us.
And God has the power to return everything to the way it was. To round us up and deport us. But he doesn't. He offers us papers of citizenship ... not just green cards ... but full citizenship.
Born in a manger, living a life among us, speaking the language of love and faithfulness, teaching it to our untrained ears, Jesus represents God's hand extended to us.
God didn't build fences but broke down dividing walls of hostility. (see Ephesians 2)
What would it look like for us to go and do likewise?