Remembering The Outcasts

With five days until Christmas, most of us find ourselves checking off gift lists, making last minute goodies, running to the store for forgotten items, putting finishing touches on our home decorations and making sure everyone has something nice to wear to the Christmas Eve service. There is just so much to be done, while we are working to make the season special and memorable for our families. I want to take a moment to think about “the forgotten” the outcasts if you will. It is so easy to find ourselves wrapped up in our loved ones and our personal schedules that we easily may overlook those society deems unworthy of our time. There is the man in prison, the woman in the apartment nearby who is fighting to make ends meet for her children this year, the man huddled down on the corner trying to keep warm. There are children around the world who are left to fend for themselves, whether they are the abused and neglected or those who are orphans. Right now there are elderly folk sitting forgotten in nursing homes, quite literally waiting to die. There are individuals on the cancer wing and soldiers away to war. Women who are carrying life and wondering if they made the right decision to sustain their pregnancy. People all around us and yet we often get so busy trying to make the holiday special for our own that we forget, or worse, choose not to care about such people. “What a bad lot” we mumble under our breath, but what would we do to help? We don’t want to impose and so instead we move on in hopes that someone else will step in and save the day.

This post is not meant to bring the merriment of Christmas down, but to make us all ponder the real meaning of Christmas and how that applies to us. It’s not enough to know there was a baby born in the manger and leave it at that. Jesus is not merely a crutch to throw out to people in hopes He will fix all of their problems. While yes, it IS true Jesus is the Only One who can fix our problems and we celebrate His coming into the world to do just that, we cannot stop there. Just as Isaiah prayed we ought to Isaiah 6:8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” God will often use us to be His hands and feet to a hurting world, He has a habit of using the imperfect people to reach the lost, the outcast and the hurting. He used a peasant girl no more than 14 to birth Salvation into the world and He wants to use you and I to spread His message of hope not only in this season but all throughout the year. Not because we are anything special, we are simply sinners saved by His amazing grace, tools in the hand of a King.

May I propose to you that this season rather than rushing out to buy one more gift, make one more treat or rearrange our living room one more time, we pray over and ponder the person (or people) the Lord would have for us to serve? Perhaps it’s your neighbor who will be alone this Christmas and would love an invite for dinner, or perhaps you could take an afternoon to serve at the local soup kitchen. You may have to get creative with what is allowed this year due to covid measures, but such restrictions cannot and will not stop the Lord from using us to show His love to others. When we willingly surrender to His plans and live a life of willing service, the “forgotten” suddenly grow a little dearer to our hearts and most importantly closer to knowing the Lord who was born to set them free. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” Luke 2:14

Glory to the King of Kings!

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