This small town craziness had me pondering the town that Jesus was born into. I bet it was a lot like this, beautiful and ugly. There was probably the resident rumor spreader, the pre-Facebook, as well as, the defenders of justice, the carers of the poor and the carriers of burdens.
It turns out that archaeologists predict that Bethlehem had about 300 people. Luke tells us that people had to return to their ancestral town to be counted. I wonder if the town ended up looking something like our little town during the eclipse, people camping in the parks, in people's pastures, naked Germans sunbathing on RVs and people staying with strangers. Or maybe it was a lot like a long TSA line at the airport, where suddenly you know the stories of the people around you, as if you were all traveling together.
Was this the Bethlehem that Mary and Joseph walked into? Of course there isn't room, the town is overflowing and about to explode. And the townspeople are all a buzz talking about what is going on down at the market or the pregnant woman that just appeared ready to give birth. But there are also those people that just can't help but do good, maybe these are the people that were on the road with Mary and Joseph. They see the very pregnant woman and her unsure husband and they step into help.
I don't know what happened, none of us do. But I love that when the Bible tells us that Jesus experienced all that we did, it includes this, small town politics and small town situations. That is something I can relate to.
What I do know, is that night, light came. A light that was promised to chase away the dark and bring peace and hope and justice to a dark world.