21 December 2010

Please Stop Hatin'!!!

I love Christmas plays and/or cantatas.  They are like mini-Lifetime movies in a religious setting.  It appears the writers of these holiday productions sit down with the whole purpose of making people cry.  They probably have "Driving Miss Daisy" and "Beaches" on a loop in their DVD player to get them in the spirit of drawing tears.

So, I go to these Christmas plays, and many of them have one villain in the story.  In modern times, it could be the surly neighbor, a school bully, unemployment, or a ruthless boss in the same vein as Scrooge.  Fortunately, the writers can NEVER leave them mean and cold, because, hey, it's a Christmas story, and it always ends up good!  And these characters are sometimes the focal point of the tale and thus, the main tear-jerk-er. (Grammar?)

But when telling the story in Mary and Joseph's day, there is someone who I have seen protrayed over and over in the worst way, and I HAVE HAD ENOUGH!!!


While he does not appear in every play, when he does, look out!  Hide the kids eyes!  He will be a terse, short-tempered individual, who apparently just hated Mary and Joseph and shoo-ed them away with no conscience.   I have seen him yell at them, not even open the door to them, talk down to them, and in one play mock them. "Some couple you are, not even married and having a baby.  We are full," said as if they had plenty of rooms, but this grisly old curmudgeon was shotblocking their need for shelter...and of course, he SLAMS the door.

But what does the BIBLE say?

Luke 2:7 (Amplified Bible)

"And she gave birth to her Son, her Firstborn; and she wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room or place for them in the inn."

Dude, that is the Amplified version!  If you can't find room in the inn in that version, then brother, there was no room!

It doesn't say there was no room because the innkeep was a hairy jerk!  Or that he looked at them, saw they were poor then gave them the boot (circa 1988 Innkeeper played by Bill Brewer in our church).  I have heard entire sermons on how he rejected Jesus once, and never had another chance. 

Really?  That's in the Word???

People have made HUGE leaps into melodrama revolving around this character in the story, who first of all is never even mentioned, and who more than likely provided them with the stable!!!  Some ancient accounts believe the innkeeper's wife may have been the midwife used by Mary, and that Joseph and Mary lived there until she was well enough to travel.

I don't know! Neither do you.

We don't even know there was an innkeeper.  Perhaps there was just a neon sign on the door "No Vacancy"...ever consider that, Holiday Play Writers???

I am tired of all the hate lavished upon this fella when it is clearly stated he had "no room."  If he could've accomodated them and didn't, the Bible would have said it...right?  Maybe?


Be forewarned:

If I am ever at your Christmas program at your church, and there is a negative light shown on the innkeeper, I will stand and yell to the top of my lungs "Heresy! Heresy!" until I am given the microphone to voice my opinion on this matter, or I am tackled and removed from the building by the National Guard.

With my luck, when I show up next year to BB's Christmas play at school, he will flip to the darkside and be cast as the innkeep...what then?

Merry Christmas!


  1. the true villain of the Christmas story is either Herod, who never turns out to be nice in the end, or it's you and me. we are the reason that God had to lower himself and be born to die for our sins. he came knowing that we'd reject him. prior to his sacrificial death, we were all enemies of the cross. one the other hand we are helpless victims of the enemies plot. therefore, maybe no one but Satan should be the villain. however, i do think that Christ's birth should be seen as the entrance of light into utter, vile darkness.

    also i think Christmas plays would do well to incorporate a full delivery scene into the script so that people can see the very essence of Christ's humanity. it would be good too if we stopped using white people in plays. hire some jews and do it right. finally, i think live animals are a must. the smell of poo in the church auditorium helps to understand the level of humility our Lord submitted to. a breastfeeding scene might also help with the whole humanity part. and make the baby scream and cry for goodness sake. basically make it unpleasant for the audience....or not.

  2. i understand your point, but you sound like you are advocating an anti-innkeeper stance for effect.

    Joe, stop it.

    If the innkeeper is in heaven, I will be-friend him and walk around smacking everyone who portrayed him as mean on the back of their heads...better yet, I will snatch their halos and throw them off the cloud we are on and snip the strings on their harps!

    wait...i think THAT is heresy. oops.

  3. This reminds me of the nativity reenactment our small church in California used to do. All the kids ages 3 to 6 were involved, so no one got left out. A couple of dads put on the donkey costume (with lots of jokes about who would be in the rear) and stumbled down the aisle. Two older kids played Mary and Joseph, and the angel on a tall ladder. The newest baby was Jesus--and yes, they cried! No rehearsals, no speaking lines... just everyone putting on costumes and taking their places while the church sang carols. Our kids LOVED it!

    And, no mean innkeeper, either.

    Our current megachurch has a very polished presentation, and it's all very nice, but I really miss the low-stress version we used to enjoy so much.

  4. I agree with you mate. He was just doing his job. He probably had to abide by fire regs and everything, couldn't just cram them in a corner of the lobby...

    It's the receptionist's fault! She was misinformed!