“And this will be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” With these words, angels from heaven tell a group of shepherds how to recognize the Savior and His coming into the world. Most people did not know that God had sent His Son to be born on that night. Some people were expecting God to send His Son. But most of them did not recognize Him when He came.
The Bible tells us that Jesus will return one day to redeem His people and judge the world. At Christmas, Christians emphasize looking for Christ’s final return and looking for Christ’s presence in the world today.
I often wonder if we have trouble really recognizing where Jesus is in the world today. If God is always at work, trying to save people and help us, do we see clearly where that work is? Or do we, like those people during Jesus’ lifetime, miss His presence entirely?
I suspect if we are afraid to show compassion to the most needy, to the strangers and refugees, to the poor and even the criminal, we are missing the presence of Christ among us. It seems to me that He said something like that Himself.
“I was hungry and you fed me, thirsty and you gave me drink, naked and you clothed me, a stranger and you took me in. I was sick and in prison and you came to visit me… Inasmuch as you did this for the least of my brothers, you did it for me.”
Love in Christ,
Greg Burriss, Pastor
Rocky River Baptist Church
Siler City, NC