Churchnet December 2016 - Page 12

Christmas Politics

by Brian Ford, Executive Director-Elect

No, I’m not reflecting on partisan politics

(Republican, Democrat, etc.), nor am I going

to reflect on the politics of the so called

“War on Christmas” or the color of coffee

cups sold at popular coffee shops. You are

welcome! I’m referring to politics in its

most basic definition how individuals

interact with one another in a myriad of


This year, I find myself reflecting on the

politics of Christmas as it relates to the

biblical narrative of the birth of Emmanuel,

God with us. After years of considering myself a Jesus follower, I still marvel at the subversive story of the nativity. Almighty God, creator of the universe, decides to come to earth in flesh and blood and live among us. Yet, God invites an unwed teenager and a host of other unlikely folks to help make this a reality. God comes to earth through the birth of a baby, born to an unwed mother who hails from the “back woods” of 1st Century Judea.

The Gospel of Luke tells us that the most powerful person in the world at the time of Jesus’s birth, Caesar Augustus, calls for a head count throughout his Empire so that he wouldn’t miss any “rightful” income from those whom he oppressed. Caesar didn’t care if you were poor and couldn’t afford the trip back home, if you were pregnant and shouldn’t travel for health reasons. Didn’t matter, you had to get up and go. So Mary and Joseph head out on a perilous journey to his hometown of Bethlehem. I can only imagine the small-town politics of a baby coming to an unwed couple. For those who have or currently live in small town Missouri, you know.

Yet, despite the risks and the politics involved in the story so far, these two young persons (Mary and Joseph) arrive safely, but find no decent place to stay, let alone to have a baby. So they end up in a smelly animal barn just the place you would want your child, grandchild or great-grandchild to be born!

Upon Jesus’s birth, the heavenly hosts choose the low-life, smelly shepherds to proclaim the good news. No royal announcement across the land, no pomp

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