I like nativity scenes; they are the one thing we see around us this time of year that actually have something to do with what we are supposed to be celebrating. Yet sadly, even most nativity scenes, whether sculpted or painted… and certainly those that are reenacted… don’t portray reality.
When Joseph and Mary arrived in the City of David on that fateful day, there was no room at the Inn and they found shelter in a “manger”. We think of this as being like a barn, a really nice barn, but it would have been more like a cave where animals are penned up. Such a place would not be charming, rustic or romantic, it would most likely have been a stinking hole, a place lower than low.
We depict the scene with radiating light, a kind of heavenly ambiance, but in addition to the stench, it also would…
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