For All People

     

      I came across this account from a missionary to the Pacific Rim.  It was Christmas time, and as missionaries, they'd had to leave behind all the familiar and cherished decorations.  The one thing they did have was a fine ceramic nativity set that they'd purchased en route to their assignment.  She placed it with great care upon the table in their home, using what she called the "standard American set up," Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus in front, wise men to the right, shepherds and cattle to the left.  

    The next day, as she attended a language school, her househelper had come to care for the apartment they lived in.  When she returned from the school, she found the nativity scene completely rearranged.  All the figures were set in a circle, with the baby Jesus in the center.  There was no order to the members of the circle, shepherds next to wisemen, wisemen beside cattle.  She quickly moved them back to their "proper order."  She again went to the school the following day, and once again, when she returned, the figures were again arranged in what she saw as a hodgepodge circle, Jesus once again in the middle.  This pattern continued for a number of days.
Finally, exasperated, she asked her helper why she was doing this, thinking, "After all, everyone knows shepherds and wisemen have definite stations in life, and her arrangement just wouldn't happen."  In response, her housekeeper pointed to the scene and said, "Jesus should be the center of everything."  The missionary then writes, "Pointing to her heart, she continued, 'Just like in here.'  Pointing to the wisemen, then to a shepherd, and then to herself, she continued to teach me, saying, 'He loves us all the same.' "
    Within each of us is a deep yearning to feel that we are special, precious, and we spend a lifetime searching for things, positions, possessions, and people who make us feel so.  Yet none of these  do.  We only end up with a deeper hunger, a greater void in that desire.  We need ever greater verification that we are, all the while comparing ourselves with others, seeking to prove that we are a little more special, a little more precious than them.  This attitude runs rampant in the world.  It does so in the church as well.  We manufacture "definite stations" for people.  "Shepherds" belong in one place, "wisemen" in another, and those stations need to be strictly observed.  Like the world, we go right on comparing ourselves with others, and whatever sense we have of being special, or precious, disappears when someone else comes along who seems more blessed, more special, more precious to others, than we are.
    The Father, in Christ, says to each of us, no matter our "station" in life, that we are infinitely precious and special to Him.  We are His treasure, and what we do, where we serve, who we are, does not make us any more, or any less so.  Like the simple, gentle househelper, we must come to know that "He loves us all the same."
    Luke 2:10 reads, "But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid, for behold I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people.' "  All.  Shepherds, wisemen, day laborers, Doctors, handymen, professors, janitors, all, both great and small.  All are precious in His eyes.  Special beyond words.  Do you believe this?  Have you received this?  Receive it.  Receive Him.  Now.

Know the good news and great joy that is Christ.

Blessings,
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