The Gift of Being a Neighbor

When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? … So they were offended at Him. Matthew 13:54-57

Sometimes we Christians get hung up on what we should be doing to celebrate Christmas. Many just dive in to mall shopping, with scarcely a passing thought at the appropriateness of celebrating our Savior’s birth by buying everything in sight. Others militantly burn the Christmas tree, fire Santa and feel that sending Christmas cards wastes money better given to the Salvation Army. But I just end up feeling miserable and guilty enjoying seasonal fun while there is so much trouble in the world.

But what would Jesus do in our modern world? What would the Word made flesh do for Christmas? While most of us know that Jesus tells us to love our neighbor, how many of us have stopped to wonder how Jesus handled that? Jesus had neighbors too! While He took the time to talk with his neighbors He was also doing mighty works (Like healing some of them). But He was rejected! Have we decided to ignore our neighbors because they might reject us? Jesus would say something to us, “Welcome to the club!” Rejection doesn’t get us off the hook from the command to love. Maybe we should just start out by finding out what their name is! How about trying to meet your neighbor as your first gift of Christmas and then take it from there?

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