Day 18 | For the last and the least
While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.'
At the school I went to until I was 13, to have high social status you needed some specific attributes: a talent for basketball, the correct brand of trainers and school bag, a nationality other than British, and the physique of a Greek deity. Sitting as I did at the bottom of the pecking order with none of these things, my best chance to form a friendship was to make an early move on a new person and hope they liked me enough to continue our association once they realized I was going to hamper their social game. They rarely did.
But that's not the way Jesus acts. If he'd been a student at that school, he would have been my friend. He wouldn't have tried to 'get in' with the popular kids, though he would have offered them friendship in a way that didn't involve leaving me or others out.
A Savior was born, the Messiah, the Lord! But his first bed was an animal feeding trough, his arrival was announced first to one of the least respected groups in society, and in word and deed, he showed his vast love for the otherwise unloved. If we are to be truly Christlike, we must do the same in our daily lives. When we're tempted to ignore or mistreat people we don't think are worth our attention, we need to follow Jesus's humble, generous example.
Lord Jesus, your birth is good news, and it has brought great joy ever since. Please work through me to bring your joy to the last, least, and lost this Christmas.