Ok, so this isn’t really a reader question. I wrote it myself as a way to share something important that happened to me this week. Sorry for the deception.
Last night, I had the opportunity and the honor to participate one of my church’s Posadas celebrations. Las Posadas, at least the way my congregation celebrates it, happen over the nine nights leading up to Christmas eve. Each evening, a family of the church hosts a church service/party at their home; one for each of the nine months that Mary carried Jesus in her womb.
Each evening, the congregation gathers and walks from house to house (three in total), reenacting Mary and Joseph’s search for a room in Bethlehem on the night Jesus was born. At each of the first two doors, the holy family (children dressed up in Mary and Joseph costume) are rebuffed and sent away. At the final house, everyone is welcomed and the assembled community enters the house with singing.
Following the procession and celebration of Holy Communion, the host families share a meal with their guests. Much singing and frivolity follows.
For most in the Latino Community, the celebration of Las Posadas is an important connection to their community history and culture. Las Posadas are celebrated in most of the Spanish-peaking countries of the world. For many, though, following the migration of Mary and Joseph toward Bethlehem hits much closer to home. It calls to mind, perhaps, their own walk r the way in which friends and family members have searched for hospitality in an uncaring landscape.
For me and my family, participation in Las Posadas has become not only an opportunity to experience the holiday traditions of another culture, but it has also provided us with a chance to experience, first hand, the vibrancy and growth of the Latino congregation that we serve. In this way, we, too, are pilgrims seeking not hospitality, but a clearer sense of the new things that God is doing in our midst.
Entren Santos Peregrinos!