“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household”
Ephesians 2:19 (NIV UK)
How many strangers were involved in the birth celebrations of Jesus Christ? If we take into account the shepherds and the wise men and, presumably the wise men’s attendants, would it be just less than ten? Or would it be more?
In our Western culture Christmas tends to be about family and friends. There may be some generous giving for the homeless, and perhaps getting involved in soup kitchens for the hungry. However, when it comes to the party that many view Christmas as, it can be a little exclusive: family and friends only please, and even those by invitation only. Remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 25:40, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
A clear biblical theme is that “God sets the lonely in families” (Psalm 68:6 NIV UK), and through the baby Jesus all of us have gone from being spiritual outcasts to being the very children of God.
Have a great time this festive season, but don’t let it be too exclusive. Welcome people you barely know as well those nearest and dearest to you.
And, by the way, a stranger in not just for Christmas!
At this time of year when we remember the birth of Jesus, help us to also remember our brothers and sisters in Christ and include them in our celebrations.
Study by James Henderson
About the Author: James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland. You are welcome to attend any of our local congregations. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099. Contact: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org