Archive for December 18th, 2006

Outside In

Monday, December 18th, 2006

Today’s scripture: Luke 2:8-20 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Tammy Mills):

The shepherds were outsiders. They weren’t rich or famous and had never held any high office. They were often ceremonially unclean and were probably thought to be of little value in the grand scheme of society. How cool is it that these marginalized workers were invited to the place of Jesus’ birth! Not only did they get to come and celebrate, but they got to leave and proclaim the great news!

A tiny baby brought those society had kicked out back into the “fold”.

While my daughter was recovering in the heart center at Riley hospital, I had the most humbling opportunity to see how children today still have the power to bring people together. Two doors down from us was a German Baptist family keeping watch over their infant daughter. Across the hall was a Muslim family caring for their teenage son. Over by the nurse’s station was a “NASCAR” family caring for their toddler. In regular society this mix of people probably wouldn’t have reason to cross paths, but because each of us had children with serious heart issues we were united.

When the German Baptist dad walked by our room he would nod a knowing glance. We would nod back. We understood each other’s pain and struggle. Our differences had melted away and all we could see and feel was our common pain and our common hope. We all understood what each other was going through and therefore were each other’s best support.

The world might have looked in on the fourth floor at Riley and seen lesbian moms in baseball caps, German Baptists in prayer bonnets, Muslims in prayer scarves and NASCAR dad in his Dale Jarrett t-shirt. When we look from the outside, that is often all we see — differences. We on the inside didn’t notice the differences so much. We saw our common struggle and journey.

The baby Jesus teaches us to look at the inside rather than to judge the outside.

Thought for the day: Is there a place in my life where my judging is causing me to push someone out rather than to invite them in?

Today, let’s join together in prayer for: for all who may be alone during this season. May God comfort them, and may we be aware and willing to do our part.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. Use the item above as a starting point, or consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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