There was a married couple who lived across the street from Gilmer Elementery School, Mr and Mrs Amos. His name, was Newie and everyone called his wife "Mama Charity".
It was always an adventure going to their house because there was a racoon in the garage, a crow in a cage and a backyard full of mules. It was a big back yard. Newie, didn't talk much, at least to children anyway, Mama Charity took up his slack.
4 or 5 elementary school children, just neighborhood kids, sitting on their front porch, Mama Charity is sitting in a old rocker and reading to us children, the story of Jesus’ birth. She would ask us questions about the story, they were easy and everyone wanted to answer. Somehow she managed to call on everyone.
We all left thinking we were so very knowledgeable. There are still places in Texas and America where something similar happens today. But it's rare, don't you think?
This morning started about 3:40, I'm trying to be quiet as a Christmas mouse, making sure all Pamela's presents are under the tree. As I sat and just looked at the tree, the wreaths, the figurines and all the Christmas decorations inside my memory movie projector started.....Mama Charity was center stage in her old rocking chair.
I don't know how the memories fit together so seamlessly but they always do and suddenly I was thinking about a former President and his retelling of Mary and Joseph. Remember that?
During a town hall in Nashville, Barack Obama once again proved to the world that he knows absolutely nothing about the Bible. You see, Joseph and Mary, according to this noted theologian, were homeless wanderers forced to hole up in a stable.
Barack Obama, Biblical Scholar declared that Mary and Joseph were illegal aliens who had no home in Bethlehem and had to live in the shadows of a stable. So, During the time of Caesar Augustus, when Quirinius was the Governor of Syria, Rome decreed that a census be performed. Now, the Roman Postal Service didn’t mail everyone a seventeen page form to find out how many people lived in your home, do you have health insurance, how many are gay, or what color your skin is.
Instead, they forced everyone to return to the city of their birth where they would be registered for the census.
So, if you lived in Nazareth, but were born in Bethlehem, you had to pack up your family and set out for Bethlehem in order to be counted in the Big Government Census.
Joseph, being from the House of David, was from Bethlehem.
So, despite the fact that his wife Mary was exceedingly pregnant, they had to pack a bag and make the trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem to be in compliance with the Roman census decree.
I’m sure some pencil-pushing bureaucratic hack was sitting in their office in Rome making sure that the Jews were super-inconvenienced by this census.But that’s just conjecture on my part and in no way substantiated in the Bible.
You see Joseph and Mary were not relocating to Bethlehem.Joseph and Mary were not sneaking into Bethlehem illegally so that Joseph could become an olive-picker in the fields while Mary made beds in Bethlehem’s one and only inn.
They were mandated by the Roman Government to haul their fannies to their city of birth in order to comply with a governmental decree.
And they weren’t the only ones having to do it.
Everyone who was born in Bethlehem, along with their families, were also making the trip.Now, Bethlehem wasn’t Miami or Las Vegas. It wasn’t known for all of its ample tourist accommodations.
As a result, there was precious little room for all these people mandated by a government decree to return to Bethlehem and be counted in a Big Government Census.
Since accommodations were limited, and Joseph had himself an enormously pregnant wife, they found a place protected from the elements and slept there.
It happened to be a stable.You see. Joseph and Mary were not illegal aliens.
They were complying with a Big Government mandate.
If you want to take something away from this story about the circumstances that brought them to the stable, it should be:
Big Government: Inconveniencing Families for 2000 Years.....