Journey to Bethlehem: December 25 - Word&Way

Journey to Bethlehem: December 25

Seeing God Incarnate on Our Journey

Today's Scripture: Luke 2:1-7

Terry Dale Cruse

Jessica Williams is pastor of First Baptist Church in Overland Park, Kan.

When I was a child, our phone rang late one fall evening, and the man on the other end of the phone explained that his name was Joe and that he and his wife, Mary, needed some help. They were traveling across the country after a vacation when their car broke down in our town and they didn’t have enough money to pay for a hotel room. Joe said he had gone through every reverend in the phonebook and had made it all the way to Chadwick, and still no one believed his story or had been willing to help him.

It sounds pretty unbelievable, right? A man named Joe and his wife, Mary, on a journey with no place to stay? Luke tells a similar story of a man named Joe and his wife, Mary, on a journey with no place to stay and a baby on the way. And it is in that trough for animals that God Incarnate comes to the world — homeless, with no place to lay his head.

As we journey through the season, we will no doubt encounter friends and strangers in need. We might be tempted to respond to their stories with questions about their validity and believability or with opinions about whether or not that person deserves help. I pray, though, that we will be willing to see God Incarnate in that person and their journey.

Incarnate God, who came into the world a homeless infant, open our hearts and our eyes to see others and their needs throughout the year, not with an attitude of judgment, but with a spirit willing to see you in each person, to remember your journey in each story, and to joyfully and unquestioningly serve those whose life journeys have left them with no place to stay. Amen.