A Connected Christmas | Day 5: Christmas…Who Would Jesus Celebrate With?
One of the most difficult aspects of this year has been the word ‘No’. We aren’t used to it and we haven’t enjoyed it.
And we aren’t alone. Once, not that long ago really, a nervous couple of teenagers made their way to a remote location. It was late when they arrived and the night manager refused to make an exception to the capacity requirement of the COVID-safe plan. He did take pity and said that there were no restrictions on the building where the vehicles were parked… Jesus’ parents knew too well the feeling of exclusion. Many of our people do too, in a year where many may have to choose their ‘Top 20’ family members at Christmas.
But what happens next in the Gospels fills my heart with joy – some poor, despised shepherds were invited. And the wise men – mystics – visited too. Neither would feel all that comfortable or perhaps terribly welcome in our churches. No one would run up and tell them to leave – the culture would communicate the ‘No’. Yet those shepherds were the people who tradition claims as the first people to receive the good news of the birth of a Saviour for our world!
This year, as we do every year, our church will make sure every single action we take says a huge ‘Yes!’ to those feeling the weight of exclusion. We’re hoping for the best but preparing for the real possibility that we may not be able to gather in a large group. But we will communicate the lavish love of a God whose heart beats for the excluded and lonely. This year, let’s use our Christmas table to ask, ‘Who would Jesus celebrate with?’ as we keep in mind, ‘… whatever you do for the least of your brothers and sisters, you do it for me’ (Matthew 25).
written by JON OWEN
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