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A Christmas Message to take beyond the 25th

One of the many Christmas images we have is that taken from Luke’s’ gospel of the shepherds keeping watch over their flock. The reference to shepherds reminds us of David’s earlier calling to be king with which you may be familiar with from the Old Testament, where he too was out in the fields near Bethlehem keeping watch over his flocks. However, this time a shepherd is not called to be king but rather shepherds are to be the first to recognize and welcome the new King. And notice who God chooses for this important task of spreading the good news of the Messiahs’ coming. Shepherds, at best, were outsiders. The requirements of caring for their flocks and of following them to food put them outside the small tight-knit communities like Bethlehem. In a very real way, they were homeless. So, we might ask ourselves, what is the nature of God that upon entering the world as the Christ child, to be among us, shows himself first to those near the bottom of the social order, even the homeless? And this being the case, what might God be telling us more fortunate ones of our responsibility toward those less well-off than we are, to the outsiders that live amongst us? Christmas is a good time to give thanks for all that we have and to remember those who are less fortunate. Have a blessed Christmas.

Reverend Colin Bowler

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