“Everyone went to their own town to register” (Luke 2:3).
The familiar Christmas story starts with a governmental registry. Tracking — and taxing — populations helped Rome enact its oppression. So we read of a journey to Bethlehem by an engaged couple with a faith and ethnicity considered suspicious by the authorities.
The Gateway Arch represented the westward expansion of the United States. For thousands of people from around the world, the Arch also welcomes them to their new home in the way the Statue of Liberty did for earlier generations of refugees.
An ecumenical group of Mid-Missouri clergy found inspiration in the birth story of Jesus as they gathered at the state capitol in December to speak out for Middle Eastern refugees today who are fleeing murderous violence.