“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.'” Matthew 2:1-2
I have a pretty good feeling that readers of this blog have one of these set up in their home as I type.
This something is probably displayed where everyone who comes into your house can see it.
Some of you may even have a “blow up” one of these (what my son Luke calls inflatable yard decorations).
At the very least you had one of these in your home as a child – or at your grandmother’s home.
A manger scene.
Shepherds. Joseph. Cows. Angel. Star. Mary. Sheep. Baby. Hay. Barn. Manger. Wise men.
Displayed in our homes and yards and church vestibules is a beautiful picture of racial reconciliation. Sure, Mary and Joseph and the Baby and Shepherds were Jews. But the wise men? They were from the East. From the Orient. From miles and miles and miles away. They probably didn’t have the same skin color as Joseph. Their eyes were probably not cut like the Baby’s. They probably spoke a language different from Mary. Yet they came to worship Christ the newborn King. And they worshipped Him. . . Together. Jew and Gentile. Shepherds and Wise Men.
I am not smart enough to comment too heavily on the recent events in Ferguson, MI and Staten Island, NY. But I do know that followers of Jesus have something to say AND something we must do. We must say that the coming of Jesus to earth and dying on the cross in our place broke down every single barrier for anyone – regardless of color – to have a right relationship with God and be a part of His forever family. We have a message that is the only fix for true and genuine racial reconciliation.
But there is something we also must do. It doesn’t serve us well to comment on what we think is right or wrong when 11:00 am is still the most segregated hour in America. I found myself being angry with the “non-indictment” of the police officer who strangled Eric Garner to death. Very angry. It just doesn’t make sense to me. But I quickly was convicted. Convicted because I can talk all day. But until I actually do something to prove my frustration – it is just that. . . talk.
Christmas is a real reminder that followers of the Messiah have the same older brother (Jesus). We have the same Father (God). We have the same blood type (blood of Christ). We have a message of reconciliation. One that reconciles us to God and one that – as a result – reconciles us with each other.
Let’s not just make these things nice decorations at Christmas. Let’s make them part of our worship gatherings and fellowship. Let’s picture the reconciling work of Christ to the world.
Oh come let us adore Him. . . Together.