DECEMBER 5, 2020    

Christmas Meaning in a Mexican Tradition

Several years ago, I was working in Mexico for VF Corp., when I decided to stay over the weekend in Chihuahua. I did not realize it at the time, but I had been invited to a 400-year-old traditional celebration called “Las Posadas” (“Inns” or “Shelters”). Las Posadas recreates Mary and Joseph’s search for a place to stay where she can give birth. This is a nine-day celebration beginning December 16 and ending December 24.

There was a large gathering of people—children and adults—assembled at one house. We all were given a sheet of paper with song lyrics and a candle. The children were dressed in beautiful costumes, portraying the familiar characters in the story: Mary, Joseph, shepherds, angels.

We started our journey, children leading the way. It was a dark night and the candlelight shone brightly. A small child dressed as an angel led us. We stopped at several selected homes. At each of them the “innkeeper” came out and talked to “Joseph.” The dialogue was sung by all of the people at each home.

 Pilgrims:  

Pray give us lodging, dear sir, in the name of Heav’n.
All day since morning to travel we’ve given.
Mary, my wife, is expecting a child.
She must have shelter tonight. Let us in, let us in!

Innkeeper:    

You cannot stop here, I won’t make my house an inn.
I do not trust you, your story is thin.
You two might rob me and then run away.
Find somewhere else you can stay. Go away, go away.

Similar interactions occurred at several other homes until we reached the final stop.

Innkeeper:     

Joseph, dear Joseph, how could I be so blind?
Not to know you and the virgin so fine!
Enter, blest pilgrims, my house is your own.
Praised be to God on His throne! Please come in, please come in!

Christmas 2020 ends a very hard year for us all. It is so important to capture the celebration of the young Savior’s birth. A birth that ushered in a New World —a Risen World where innkeeper makes room for the couple in need. Let us string up the piñata and experience the joy on the faces of the children.

Harold Vannoy

Click here to see the complete 2020 Advent Devotional booklet.

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