I love the Christmas story about how Jesus was born in a stable and laid in a manger because there was no place for
his parents to stay in Bethlehem. I love that God came to earth in a little baby, dependent on the kindness and care of
others. I love that someone, probably with their big family already filling their tiny one room house, said “Please come in and take shelter here, the animals won’t mind.”
It reminds me that God can come at any time, on any day, with no hint that this is actually God depending on my kindness. It reminds me to welcome with kindness the homeless who need to shelter in our church basement on Thursday evening. It reminds me fight for the right to continue our shelter program in Oak Lawn. It reminds me welcome the struggling folks who come for our pantry on Tuesday and Friday. It reminds me to be kind to the telemarketer (as I politely tell them don’t call me again) who is just trying to earn some money to put food on her kid’s table.
I love that God chose such an unassuming way to be born in our world because it reminds me that love can show up
anywhere, in anyone. It isn’t just about me showing love and kindness. It is also about me seeing the love that lives
in other people, no matter who they are.
When I look for the love in you, I see you are a fellow human being, not as someone I can dismiss because “you are
difficult to get along with” or “you don’t like me.” When I look for the love in those with whom I totally disagree, I see
them as a fellow human being, with life experiences that made them who they are and who may have an interesting
story. When I look for the love in you, no matter who you are, I see you as a fellow human being and at the same time, I see God in you!
That’s Christmas! That is how God is born into our world. God is born again and again in you and me. Maybe we
don’t embrace God’s spirit of love as fully and completely as did Jesus. Jesus did that perfectly! But make no mistake,
God’s spirit is in you and me, waiting to be born and to blossom every day. Let’s welcome God and make room for
God to live and grow, in ourselves and everyone else!
Pastor Peggy McClanahan