Luke 2:8-12; John 1:14; 3:16; Luke 4:16-20; Matthew 25:31-46 “Love All”


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The angel declares to the shepherds, “unto you is born this day…” as they deliver the good news of Jesus’ birth.  Often, I think, we take the *you* of that very literally, remembering and celebrating that Jesus indeed came for us, His people.  Culture only serves to emphasize this reality, encouraging it with self-centered materialism and commercialism.

Yet, the very fact that Jesus’ birth is announced to shepherds, the lowest of the low in society reminds us that Jesus came for “them” as well.  Looking further into Jesus’ life and ministry, we see very clearly that those we often forget, the least, last and lost of the world, the “them” people in our lives, are exactly who Jesus came to save.  After all, to God, we were on the outside at one point as well. We run the risk of uncoupling the bigger picture of God’s salvation plan for the world when we forget the true nature and meaning of Christmas and the Incarnation.

Questions to take home:

  1. What are, or have been, some of your favorite ways to celebrate Christmas?  Who do they involve and what makes them special for you? Of these memories, how many involve people outside your normal family, friend, work, or church circles?
  2. Think about the contrast of people who were a part of the Christmas narrative.  What differences do you see here? How do these differences inform how we think about the “big picture” of Christmas and Jesus’ mission in the world?
  3. In your life, who are the “outsiders” that you find yourself associating with normally?  How could your Christmas celebrations or reflections include them? How can you follow Christ in His mission to bring “Good News of great joy for all people”?