For all those who feel that there is no place for them in the inn, you have Good News: Emmanuel is with you!
And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. —Luke 2:7
At this season, as we approach the birth of Jesus, our eyes are focused on Mary the mother of Jesus. What can such a mother tell her child? That he was born in an unexpected time and way, in strange settings, that he was born and put in a manger because there was no place for him in the inn. How just was the birth of Jesus?
Today, mothers living in conditions of injustice around the world understand well the struggle of Mary where people are not received well and are marginalized. There is no place in the inn. The world has turned to a place where many have no place for them in the inn, whether it is the poor around us, or those who are refugees in foreign countries where they are discriminated against or countries that struggle for peace and have seen that they have are paying the price for the greed of other nations and the power of other countries who believe that there is no place in the inn except for their people and the wellbeing of their citizens. There is no place in the inn for nature itself that struggles out of human greed. There is no place in the inn for dreams of children where war has been their daily concern. There is no place in the inn of a just economy, but many become rich on the shoulders of those who are less fortunate and lost hope that they can have dignified life in their countries.
The salvation for the world came through a child who had no place in the Inn. It is a solidarity statement by the Lord Jesus whose birth started with exclusion, humiliation and unexpected birth in an unexpected place. Christmas is a time when the Lord Jesus opens our eyes for all those who are not invited to our tables, who feel on the margins. It is a time when Jesus challenges every one of us to the times that we told other people that they have no place in the inn, whether it is in our neighborhood, or in our families and our daily life.
As the World Communion of Reformed Churches we strive to have a family where all feel they have a place in the inn. It is this journey that we call justice. It is a journey where we make sure that we do not exclude others and also strive to make everyone invited. It is a journey of solidarity with those who feel helpless and voiceless.
Today our source of strength is not because of the powerful, but of the powerless; for there Christ is born and the miracle of salvation happens. There are the seeds of a revolution that changes the world. Our strength lies in that Emmanuel is with us and with all those who are struggling.
Have a blessed Christmas full of hope.
Rev. Najla Kassab