On Wednesday, my own home church contacted me and, asked “Can you give up coming to church on Christmas day this year because the government had just halved the numbers of people who can attend church?”
When I told my mum of eighty, she was quiet upset. All her life she has gone to church on Christmas day.
As I reflect, this is exactly what happened to Jesus himself. Jesus was rejected. Also, his own parents Mary and Joseph were rejected from the inn. There was no where for them to go, except an animal stable which was quite messy, but warm. Ultimately Jesus dies because he is rejected.
I said to my family. Let us pray together on Christmas day as a family. My mother responded, “This is not the same”. Mum was right. Praying together is not the same. But for Jesus’ was his birth any different?
Feeling rejected and excluded brings us closer to the spirit of the first Christmas.
Who are our rejected today?
We are rejected. We feel hurt. We feel like something is not right.
But, when we move out to the edges of society. To the lost. To people who have less than we have. Our perspectives change. We see the face of Christ in the other. Christ is born in us not through what we do. But through Christ who calls us to go beyond what seems comfortable.
For my eighty-year-old mum. Does the story end well? I think not. But was this any different for Christ? Christs birth was messy. God chose to become a vulnerable baby. We too are called to be vulnerable too. Being Christian is a messy business.