God’s presence in us and among us is not only a reason for comfort and joy but also unsettling news for anyone with a conscience. Only with great difficulty does the brightly-lit and crowded inn of human affairs accommodate absolute truth and self-sacrificial love, if ever at all. The familiar and maudlin Christmas card images of a poor and homeless refugee family welcoming the birth of their child out in the elements should cause all of us to stop and think about what we’re doing with what we’ve been given. We like to project grand theological implications of “peace on earth”, “good will”, “salvation”, etc. onto the Christmas nativity, but maybe we shouldn’t. If we stop and meditate on this scene, we might simply ask ourselves what kind of welcome is being extended to the one thing necessary, and what our part in it is.