The season of goodwill is more than it seems.
It’s more than just sending greetings cards, giving gifts (no more socks, please!), office parties, eating and drinking in turbo drive, and generally having fun, especially with people whose company we enjoy. Of course, why shouldn’t we enjoy ourselves in the northern midwinter cold and gloom?
Jesus Christ – and Christmas is arguably about him and his amazing birth story – had something to say about how exclusive celebrations can be. For Jesus, all of life was a celebration, and it was for everyone. Even when it came to saying hello to passers-by on the streets, he said don’t limit it to family and friends and people you know. Greet those you don’t know. If there’s someone who doesn’t like you, be kind to them. That is, be inclusive.
With Jesus, inclusive words become inclusive deeds. Why wish someone well and not help them if you can? I know we can’t help everyone, but we can some. If you see someone slipping on the ice, offer to help. If it’s within your power to do good to someone – and it is often within our power – then do it. Put good thoughts into good actions.
The angels proclaimed good news for all people. All people, whether believers or not. Inclusive. If Christmas is anything, it is surely a festival of inclusion.
This season, and indeed in all seasons, let’s include others, not just in words but also in deeds.
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