December 23

Luke 2:1-7

“And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” vs. 7

This verse paints a heartbreaking scene, and we know it well–it’s the centerpiece of every Sunday School Christmas program and nearly every home has at least one nativity packed away for seasonal display. Luke crafted the story with purpose–he wants his readers to know that Jesus came from the most humble origins possible. He might have been born in Bethlehem, but he had none of the advantages of power or wealth. He may have died as a king, but that’s certainly not how he was born. No wonder it was second nature for Jesus to identify with the poor and reach out to the needy. No wonder he made himself constantly available to the hurting and the hungry. Like millions of refugees today who have no place in the cities where they are, Jesus had no place in Bethlehem, and he spent his life in ministry to people who lived on the fringes. And in us his ministry continues! It’s our calling as his brothers and sisters, his Body in the world today. Our origins may not have been so humble as his, but our focus will be the same. Many of us take that seriously and have made generous holiday gifts on behalf of others–and that’s probably the very best way for us to celebrate Christmas.

Thought for the Day: How has my origin story shaped my life?

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