An incoming seminary president in Texas is hoping that a centuries-old Christmas tradition that originated in Spain and now practiced chiefly in Mexico, Guatemala, and portions of the American Southwest, will catch on in the Lone Star State.
As part of his installation next week as president of Redeemer Seminary in Dallas, Rev. Martin Ban is inviting the community to participate in the interactive retelling of the Nativity called "Las Posadas" (Spanish for "accommodations" or "lodgings").
Ban explains that he became familiar with the nine-day tradition while serving as founding pastor of Christ Church Santa Fe in New Mexico's capital city. He tells OneNewsNow that while lots of food and singing are involved in the observance, several things more important are as well.
"It reinforces the journey that Joseph and Mary made [from Nazareth to Bethlehem]," he begins. "It reinforces also the humility and almost the humiliation of how our Lord Jesus came into the world – that there really was no room at the inn. And [it reminds us that] the God who welcomes us into his family through his death and resurrection was not welcomed very warmly by us.
"And so that contrast is just made very real and ... just heightens and humanizes the Christmas story [by demonstrating] how difficult it must have been for Joseph and Mary to go through what they did."
Ban hopes many churches will see that they can use Las Posadas both as an opportunity for evangelism and worship.