Celebrating Christmas With the Overlooked and Avoided
Sunday is a major celebration in the church year as we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ. Milton Hollifield, Jr., Executive Director/Treasurer of the Baptist State Convention of NC, pens this week’s post:
Each Christmas, I enjoy spending time meditating on the miracle of Jesus’ birth. God became man, dwelled among us and died for our sins. It is profound to realize that the sinless, perfect only living God of all creation stepped outside the realm of eternity, took upon Himself the form of humanity and entered the realm of time when He came into the world to become our Savior. I’d like to invite you to take some time during this holiday season to focus on another specific part about the Christmas story — the people who were invited to be in Jesus’ presence when He was born.
Now, we all know that wise men followed the Christmas star and came bearing lavish gifts for Jesus — however, they were not present at His birth. In reality, these powerful, wealthy men arrived at Jesus’ home later; He was no longer an infant when He met them, but rather a child in a house. (Matthew 2:11).
Scripture does tell us, though, that there were others present at Jesus’ birth in the stable. In Luke 2, we find that the angel of the Lord appeared to shepherds and announced Jesus’ birth. Can you imagine the scene — the greatest, most powerful king was born, and present at His birth were not noblemen, but rather poor shepherds — shepherds who might have been overlooked and avoided by the rest of the world because of their menial position in life. In thinking about the shepherds, I am reminded of another truth encapsulated in a statement often attributed by some to Abraham Lincoln: “God must have loved the common people; He made so many of them.”
Though man overlooks and avoids people, our Heavenly Father does not. In fact, He deeply, deeply cares about those who are overlooked by the world. In Matthew 25:40, the King tells us, “… inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did to Me.”
I hope that this Christmas season, you will take some time to reach out to those who are overlooked and avoided by the world. When you spend time this Christmas season with family, recognize that some of the most wonderful and effective disciple-making can come out of the loving and trusting relationships between family members. In addition, also remember that at Christmastime, there are many who might not have the same blessing of family as we do. Take this opportunity to reach out to those who might need a tangible sign of God in their lives — a reminder that our Heavenly Father not only sees them, but that He truly loves them and came to be their Savior, too.
Reach out to others in this way during your Christmas celebrations. May our actions and words be truly representative of our Father, whose love knows no bounds and who invites all to come sit at His table.
“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” — Luke 2:10-11