by: Cris Corzine-McCloskey
Christmas is a few days away. As a therapist, I watch this holiday emotionally devastate people. It’s easy to lose sight of a baby in a manger when you are alone and feel unwanted. If you feel unwanted and have nowhere to go for Christmas, join the club. The Christmas Club that is. Because the Christmas story is a story of rejection. Your Savior who is now the King of kings started off as the King of rejection.
We are so familiar with the Christmas story we gloss over the details. Details such as “She gave birth to her firstborn Son. She wrapped Him snugly in strips of cloth and laid Him in a manger, because there was no lodging available to them” (Luke 2:7). No lodging available means that no one invited them into their home. Pregnant Mary, ready to pop and in a town full of strangers, was not invited into anyone’s home to give birth to the King of kings. Instead, He was born in a barn. All the love in the universe, wrapped in flesh, and no one invited Him in. Feel familiar?
Consider John 1:11, “He came to His own people, and even they rejected Him.” Wow. That’s talking about a lifestyle of rejection and scorn that eventually led to Him being crucified by the people He came to save. He chose to go through that so you could be eternally embraced, accepted, and never have to be alone again.
In Philippians 3:10 Paul said he yearned to know Christ better, and one of the ways Paul believed he could do that was to fellowship in Christ’s sufferings. I used to read that and think “not me!” as I envisioned a scourging. But daily life offers us plenty of opportunities. Betrayal, family shunnings, and loneliness are chances to fellowship with Christ. Every time we get rejected and are unwanted, we can invite Him into that pain. He knows how we feel and we can experience His tenderness and acceptance. Hebrews 4:15 says He understands the pain we suffer because He was tempted in every way, but did not sin.
Tempted with what? Considering all the rejection He faced I’m willing to bet He was tempted to become bitter or resentful, and even tempted to have a pity party. But He had a secret weapon, He knew the love and acceptance of the Father as His ‘true north.’ Cool thing is, because of what He went through, you now have that as your secret weapon. As you sit in your house with your un-ringing phone and TV dinner over Christmas, you get to say, ‘hey, I’m fellowshipping with my King, and He is in me. I am not alone, and I am loved and accepted.’ Make yourself a Christmas Club badge, and wear it with pride, because your King was the founder of that Club. He is oh so fond of you, and He loves TV dinners, so invite Him to share your Christmas meal.