I would have preferred an inn.

I just read a fantastic article by Ian Paul exploring the word “kataluma”, which is typically translated “Inn” in English bibles. His contention is that Joseph and Mary were not shut out of finding a hotel room. Rather, they were unable to have the privacy of the guest room in the house in which they were staying. As a result, Mary gave birth in the living/dining room – where the mangers were kept – surrounded by a throng of Joseph’s family who had come to Bethlehem for the census. Click on the link below to read the article.


playmobil-nativityThis morning, my daughter asked if she could set up our Playmobil nativity set, which shows a sparse scene of Mary and Joseph, with a shepherd and a few wise men. (Trust me, it looks way less impressive than the marketing picture I just ripped off.) What if it instead showed a warm home, full of family members, packed to the gills – so many people that a woman couldn’t give birth with any sense of privacy? Numerous men would be outside in the dark, talking about the weather. Throngs of women would be inside, busying themselves with boiling water and ripping sheets, or whatever it is they do when prepping for a birth. Imagine being a shepherd and showing up at THAT. Sweet baby Jesus is silent simply because no one could hear him over the din.

Kinda makes Christmas with my relatives seem tame…


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