Jose and Maria in Lenoir

For the final day of Advent, I would like to repost a retelling of Luke's account of Jesus's birth. Our small town Walmart is known as one of the places where people park who sleep in their cars.

In those days an executive order went out from President Trump that all undocumented people should be deported. This was the first round of deportations and was done while Roy Cooper was governor of North Carolina. Everyone fled their homes for fear of being picked up by ICE. Jose went from the city of Charlotte up to Watauga county, to Boone, because he had a cousin who was a big player in Samaritan's Purse there. He went for help from his cousin, because Maria, to whom he was engaged, was expecting a child. Before they got there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in rags, and laid him in the straw in the bed of their old pickup, because they were afraid to give their credit card number at the Red Carpet Inn; and were worried the Emergency Room would call ICE.

In a Walmart parking lot there were undocumented temporary workers rounding up the shopping carts by night. Then an angel of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified because they thought it was a spotlight from an ICE helecopter. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for look, I bring you good news of great joy for everyone: to you is born this day in the city of Lenoir a Savior, who one day will be more powerful than the President. He is the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in rags and lying in the bed of a pickup." And suddenly there with the angel the sky was full with an army of angels, praising God and singing, "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!"

When the angels had left them and flown away, the temporary workers said to one another, "Let's go over to that pickup and see what's going on, because the Lord told us about it." So they hurried up and found Maria and Jose, and the child lying in the pickup truck. When they saw this, they told everyone what the angel had said about this child; and all who heard it were flummoxed by what these Mexicans were saying. But Maria treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The temporary workers returned to work, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.


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