Wednesday, December 25, 2019

The Revolutionary Politics of the First Christmas

By N.T. Wright
Nativity, painting by Johann Rottenhammer (1564-1625).
I stood at the back of the Cathedral at 1:30 on Christmas morning, shaking hands with the midnight worshippers on their way home. I had been preaching about God coming into our lives at Christmastime, especially in the form of the weak, the vulnerable and the homeless. Most of the congregation were happy, but one man had something to get off his chest. “You should stick to the script!” he said to me. “Christmas has nothing to do with asylum-seekers!” And off he marched before I could splutter out the obvious reply: The Christmas story in Luke’s gospel climaxes with Jesus in a feeding-trough because everywhere else was full. Matthew’s version ends with Joseph and Mary whisking the baby off to a foreign country because the authorities wanted to kill him. Putting these together, the heart of the story is precisely Jesus the homeless asylum seeker. [More]