“And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.” (Matthew 2:9-10)
What a fabulously odd cast of characters come together at the birth of Jesus! A ramshackle circle of lowly ranked shepherds, a roving band of astrologers from a far-flung country and a newborn boy resting in a feed trough.
To top it all off, the whisper is that the teenage mother wasn’t even married when she fell pregnant. That Joseph chap must have lost his mind!
It’s hard to imagine a more random gathering to introduce the Son of God to mankind. How was anyone supposed to pick that these eclectic ‘outsiders’ were the lead characters in the plan of Salvation? Where was God’s plan in this chaos?
God’s love is inclusive of everyone. There are no outsiders. There are no margins to God’s love.
The glory of the Christmas story is that, from those first moments, God’s love is inclusive of everyone. There are no outsiders. There are no margins to God’s love.
What’s more, while we may not see God at work in real time—He is there: Just look up.
If we focus on the human characters of that first Christmas, we miss the unifying role of the star… Light. Heavenly light.
Those broke, uneducated shepherds were the invited audience of a Heavenly choir that blazed across the night sky. The magi trekked across nations following a star that shone brighter than most. And that little boy resting on course hay stuffed into a feed stall, was the ‘light of the world’
As we stand on the portico of a new year, let’s look to the Light. In those moments when we feel like ‘outsiders’, or are caught up in the chaos of life—remember that in God’s plan of love, there are no outsiders.
Great joy indeed!