If the church were an inn would it have any room?

"No Room in the Inn" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“No Room in the Inn” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

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What would baby Jesus and his parents represent in this story?

Poor. Disenfranchised. Marginalized. Voiceless. Vulnerable. Stigmatized. Wandering.

Systems and their caretakers don’t realize, or if they do don’t care, that with power comes privilege. Usually unconsciously those like the family described above simply can’t find space in the system that has any significant meaning. Oh, anyone can attend. Just be there. But who among them can find a place, a voice, a home?

This to me is one of the most pointed questions the Christmas story puts.

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3 Responses

  1. Caryn LeMur says:

    David: I like your question, ‘Who can find a place, a voice, and a home in the church?’ The concept of welcoming, acceptance, being heard, being treated equally, and being in a forever family are strong attractants for many people.

    Church institutions forget to welcome, and often wish to change your external person or your dogma. The Moses-model of leadership used by the Calvary Chapels of Costa Mesa, the Vineyards, and the Catholic Church often allows ignoring the attendee’s voice.

    Black-balling is commonplace (secretly showing favoritism, dismissal, or veto).

    And then, they offer to be your forever (dysfunctional) family.

    Little wonder that they continue to loose so much of the 50 age group and above… we are tired of the dysfunctional spiritual family. We are the ‘Dones’.

    Little wonder they are not even on the radar of age 40 and below. The Nones were not raised to tolerate the bullshit as we were.

  2. purvez says:

    With Power comes Responsibility.

  3. larry p says:

    My grandson and I had a vague experience like this recently. We were playing in a playground behind a church. “I’m sorry”, the ever so nice man said, “you can’t be here. It’s a liability thing. Nothing we can do about it.” Another time, at the same church, we were chided for being in the memorial garden, looking at bushes and stones. Yeah, it’s all about “suffer the little children to come unto me”. Not at that place, apparently. It also became a safe haven for some folks who needed a new church home when ours had the gall to make welcoming gay folks explicit.