When Luke sets the context for his Christmas narrative, he isn’t placing it so much in factual history as in emotional-political history. For Jews living under Caesar’s rule, life itself was slow (and occasionally swift and brutal) trauma. Whether historical fact or literary device, the reference to a census was to say, “These were desperate times, and yet …”
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David Weiss is a theologian, writer, poet and hymnist, doing “public theology” around climate crisis, sexuality, justice, diversity, and peace. Reach him at email@example.com. Read more at www.davidrweiss.com where he blogs under the theme, “Full Frontal Faith: Erring on the Edge of Honest.” Support him in writing Community Supported Theology at www.patreon.com/fullfrontalfaith.