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Why No Room at the Inn? The New Ark in the Stable

There is an often overlooked detail in the Christmas Story. Why was there no room at the inn in Bethlehem for Mary and Joseph? It was foretold in the Old Testament that there would be no room for Mary and Joseph at the inns of Bethlehem. The readings from the Christmas liturgy give us a special insight into the Nativity Story.

The First Reading from Morning Mass on December 24 (Cycle A) comes from 2 Samuel 7

When King David was settled in his palace, and the LORD had given him rest from his enemies on every side, he said to Nathan the prophet,“Here I am living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God dwells in a tent!” Nathan answered the king,“Go, do whatever you have in mind, for the LORD is with you.” But that night the LORD spoke to Nathan and said: “Go, tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD: Should you build me a house to dwell in?

King David returns home from his victories on the battlefield. These victories were won because David's armies carried the Ark of God before them into battle. Now David wonders at how the Ark of God dwells in a tent, while he dwells in a palace. 

So what do King David's musings have to do with the Christmas story which won't occur for another 1,000 years?

And what is it with all these Arks in the Bible?? Don't forget about Noah and his Ark

It's all pointing toward the NEW ARK of the Covenant, the Virgin Mary. All of this is, in turn, ultimately pointing to Christ, the Life that Mary carries within her. 

The Ark of Noah carried creation within it, saving it from destruction in the Flood. The Blessed Mother carries the New Creation within her, saving Him from King Herod's slaughter. 

The Ark of David, the Ark of Moses, the Ark of the Old Covenant -- it carried within it three things: (1) the Manna, the Bread from Heaven; (2) the tablets of the Ten Commandments; and (3) the priestly rod of Aaron. Mary is the Ark of the NEW Covenant and carries within her Christ himself, who is (1) the Bread of Life, the Eucharist; (2) the New Law; and (3) the head of a New Priesthood. 

There are also explicit references made by Luke to the Ark of the Covenant in his Gospel accounts of the Annunciation and Visitation. These references clearly describe Mary as the New Ark and coincidentally also reference the same book of Scripture, 2 Samuel. Read more here

So, back to David dwelling in a palace while the Ark of God dwells in a tent. Mary is the New Ark, and where is she forced to dwell? There is no room for Mary and Joseph at the Inn of Bethlehem. The New Ark dwells in a stable. Neither the Old Ark nor the New Ark are permitted a palace, but must dwell outdoors. 

Or, the New Ark dwells in a cave to give birth ...

Never fear! The First Reading from December 24, still from 2 Samuel 7, goes on to make a promise:

The LORD also reveals to you that he will establish a house for you. And when your time comes and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins, and I will make his Kingdom firm. I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. Your house and your Kingdom shall endure forever before me; your throne shall stand firm forever.

The Lord says he will raise up an heir to David "sprung from [his own] loins." But how can this be? King David has been dead from a thousand years when Mary gives birth in Bethlehem. Also, the Lord says that He will be father to the "heir". How can the heir be the child of both King David and God? 

Because Christ is born into the family of David. Mary is a descendant of David, as the Angel Gabriel confirms at Luke 1:31-33. Also, Christ is the Son of God, confirming both parts of the prophesy. Through the New Ark and Christ, therefore, the throne of David "shall stand firm forever."

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  1. Wonderful, just drinking all of it. Is it published in ONE book on line that we can go through without clicking back and forth? (I'm afraid I might miss passages or the string of parallels)
    Thank you for all that thoroughly researched topic.Wonderful eye opener :)

    1. Actually, yes! It's all in my new book and e-course: Everything You Need to Know About Mary (But Were Never Taught). That's available here: The course comes with a book of the same title, as well. Thanks for your interest!