Twinkling lights. Crisply wrapped presents. Wide-eyed children. Images that capture our attention at Christmas time. Yet, the first Christmas was filled with quite different images. A family searching for shelter. A woman giving birth on a dirt floor surrounded by animals. A couple with a young child fleeing the persecution of a power-hungry king.
The Christmas season is filled with hope and wonder. But it’s also a timely reminder that Jesus himself was poor. He was homeless. He was a refugee. He was persecuted and abused and abandoned by those he loved. And he came to earth for those who experience the same – physically and spiritually.
At the beginning of his ministry, Jesus proclaimed what he came to do:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4: 18-19
Jesus came to show God’s favor to those incapable of earning it. That’s all of us. Our first response is one of overflowing gratitude for the magnitude of God’s gift to us. He came to earth to rescue us from our brokenness, blindness, and bondage. And then, when we see those who are poor and oppressed and enslaved, we see ourselves. And we see Jesus.
So Christmas is exactly the time to remember the somber images. To remember the injustice our Savior endured and that he cares about the poor, the enslaved, the orphaned, and the homeless. And that he came to bring them – and us – hope.
One way you can show your concern for the poor and marginalized this Christmas is to share in the work of Hope for San Diego through a year-end gift. Generous donors who believe in the mission of Hope for San Diego will match your contribution dollar-for-dollar up to $20,000. Click here to give today.