Faith, Life

Taking Christmas into the wilderness of the margins

One of the things I love about the best story in the world (that would be the Christmas story 😃) is that it’s the outsiders who are led to The Christ Child:

– smelly, rough, poor shepherds

– foreign wise guys

– Simon and Anna in the temple (the old crazies of the town!!)

Jesus kept up the trend during his life by befriending and calling the swindlers and the prostitute; the demonised and the destitute; you; me.

His love and acceptance reached out into the margins of society (and hearts) to lead us into the security, belonging and acceptance of his great love.

This is the heart of the Christmas story

img_9820

The Christmas story was never meant to be a ‘stand-alone-narrative – from before it began there was already a meta-narrative of a God who ardently and faithfully was reaching down into the pit of life and rescuing humanity. For example:

  • Joseph is literally saved from a pit and a prison to become ‘prime minister’ of Egypt.
  • Moses the murderer becomes Moses the national rescuer
  • God uses Esther saves the Jews (who were being marginalised and persecuted at the time) from mass Genocide
  • David the adulterer is called ‘a man after God’s own heart (his Psalm 51 shows the depth of his repentance as he turns towards God)

The heart of the Christmas story is in fact the heart of what the Bible calls ‘the Gospel’ – it’s the good news that God is there for the last, least and lost. He is gently pursuing the maimed, the miniscule and the marginalised with grace-filled love, compassion and saving grace.

This is the heart of the Christmas story

This story continues here today:

Christ loves the homeless person and gives them a home in his heart. God uses an army of homelessness volunteers to do this – and not only Christian folks! – I love the work done by the Harrogate Homeless Project in my town! – their No Second Night Out project is innovative and highly responsive to local homeless needs. Other projects near me who are faithfully serving homeless needs of the community are LifeLine Harrogate and Ripon YMCA – without these charities many would find life unbearable – with love and practical support life has the wonderful spark of hope!

With Love and practical support life has the wonderful spark of hope

Christ loves those who are lonely, isolated, and marginalised.

Will we help His story continue today, tomorrow and always?