Over the last 4 weeks, we've been celebrating the season of Advent. For thousands of years, Christians have practiced Advent to prepare for the arrival of Jesus Christ fat Christmas. The reality is, we can get so caught up in preparing for Christmas that we end up missing the point of Christmas all together. That's why this week, we're capping off our Advent Conspiracy series by learning how we can Love All in this season of hope.
In the Gospel of Luke 2:8-20 in the New Testament of the Bible, we see Jesus' birth announcement came not to the influential, but to those on the forgotten fringes of society: The Shepherds. See, in the first century, Shepherds were at the bottom of the scale of power and priviledge... and the life of a shepherd was not an easy one! Shepherds were hard-working, marginalized people who actually lived with their animals. They weren't even allowed to worship in the temple or synagogue because they were deemed unclean and unacceptable based on the religious standards of their society.
THE FORGOTTEN FRINGE
Like the shepherds, who are the people on the "forgotten fringe" of your life? Who are the people you may have overlooked this year, or this Christmas season? See, God revealed the miracle of Jesus first to those on the forgotten fringe... and then Jesus spent his life loving the insignificant, the outcast, and the poor.
JESUS CAME TO LOVE ALL
Ultimately, Jesus came to love all. In Luke 2:9, an angel of the Lord appeared to the Shepherds to share the good news of Jesus' birth - and from there, Jesus used these Shepherds to spread the good news of Christmas to people all over the land. This shook Israel - the people were amazed that God would come to the Shepherds first and reveal his radical, life-saving love to the least among them.
At the first Christmas, Jesus demonstrated his love for all - and we can do the same today. How will you show the love of Christ to those among you? If you're overwhelmed by the idea of loving all, I encourage you to do for one what you wish you could do for all this Christmas. Who is one person you can bless this Christmas? We pray you can give the gift of Jesus - the gift of hope and peace, to the overlooked in your life. Who is waiting for your invitation?