Merry Christmust: Room to Roam

In a very popular Verizon ad for one of their newest phones it says: “In a world of doesn’t, Droid does.” As I was thinking about this phrase, I thought of how many of us live in that world of “doesn’t” or “can’t” or have our lives characterized by the word “no”. For many of us, the feelings of not fitting in or belonging or being welcome are too often the feelings we have after interacting with people, even and sometimes especially church people.I had been thinking about the passage much because I was going to speak to the kids at Elevate. I wanted something that I felt like they could really relate too and it was this very thought: “no room for you”. For a skater, pretty much everywhere they go they’re told: “can’t skate here.” And with their bad attitudes, skinny jeans and torn shoes, they ride off to find another place to skate (but don’t worry, they usually come back… just when you’re not around). It is for those reasons, we started Elevate: to give skaters a place where they can skate and feel welcome, so that in a world of can’t or doesn’t allow they understand God does! But this goes beyond just skating and property damage and all that junk. This goes deeper to acceptance issues and dealing with feelings of rejection and downright friendliness. I’ve even experienced my share of looks, stares, and “not welcome” feelings because of my earrings, skinnys, or lack of a suit and tie. Believe me, I didn’t want to be there any less than those people didn’t want me there!And so it goes. The rhythm of the organized church marching to it’s own drummer boy. I remember the story in scripture of how when Jesus was born that he was actually born in a stable. This was not because it was the happening place of the time but simply because there was “no room for them in the inn”. From the very beginning of Jesus’ life, He was pushed aside and relegated to the back. He was unrecognized by most and even as He grew older, rejected by more. If anyone understands what it means to be on the “outside”, it is Him. If anyone can understand being misunderstood, or rejection or being told “you don’t belong here”, He does. In a world of doesn’t, He does! In a world of “can’t”, He can! In a world of “no” He said “yes’.Jesus, the Son of God, came and was born in a manager. He was often characterized as a person who “takes in sinners”, eating and hanging out with them, to the chagrin of the religious. He spent time with those who were the rejects of the world, the ones who had been told: “No skating here on the Temple courts”.  He welcomed those who looked different, talked different, and had no one who believed in them. He came to show the world that God was saying: “I do understand”, “I can accept you and I choose too,” and “Yes, can’t wait for you to skate the street of gold!”

One of the facts surrounding Christmas is the fact that when Jesus was born, He had no room. I hope that it’s not still the case in our churches or homes. May Christ fill the room of every space we inhabit and may we welcome those to whom He is trying to convince He loves! In a world of doesn’t, Christ does! With Him, there’s always room to roam freely! Make room in your hearts today!

George Lockhart

Vision 2 Hear

Luke 2:7
7And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
ProjectsDress a little different today and see how people treat you.Go to a different section of town and spend a little time. Note your feeling, looks, comments.Notice how many things you say “no” too and how much you say “yes”. Is God a God of “yes” or “no”?

Questions

How concerned is God with appearance and looks?

How does God want you to interact with society and the people who are marginalized and rejects of our world?

How can your church do a better job of welcoming people? How can you do a better job at it?

How does God want to use you to convey “yes” He believes in them, He Loves them, He is with them?

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