When you’re on the outside looking in, it’s not a pleasant feeling…
Watching others play a leading role while you stand on the sidelines, feeling small and insignificant, overlooked, wondering if anyone really sees you at all – it’s tough!
It can be particularly hard at Christmas. It’s one of the worst times for loneliness. For those who are by themselves, the feeling that everyone else is happy, celebrating with friends and family, can be hard to bear. There are many who feel overlooked and forgotten.
But Christmas brings hope for this situation too.
I wonder what it was like for the shepherds living outside the town in the fields, tending their sheep day after day. Bethlehem was buzzing – full of visitors there for the census – but the shepherds were otherwise occupied, removed from the action, doing a task that was hard work but which brought them little praise or recognition…
Until the moment when everything changed…
Suddenly the sky lit up with the radiance of God’s glory, an angel appeared with news of a Saviour, and the shepherds were invited to go and see!
The overlooked and unnoticed were suddenly thrust into the heart of the action – the first ones to be invited to go and see Jesus!
I can only imagine their excitement as they left their flocks to go and see, and as they found the baby there, wrapped in swaddling clothes, just as the angel had told them.
But why? Why would God send an angel to a bunch of shepherds?
Maybe because the angel’s news was “good news that will bring great joy to all people.” (Luke 2:10 NLT) Maybe by sending the angel not to the rich and respected, but to the poor and disregarded, God was highlighting that the good news was indeed for everyone.
In God’s Kingdom, there are no overlooked or forgotten. Jesus’ life demonstrated that as he touched the “unclean”, spent time with tax collectors and sinners, and valued those who were despised or ignored by others. He saw them and he cared for them, and he took time to show them love and kindness, to let them know that he had come for them.
No matter how you unnoticed you feel this Christmas, or how overlooked by others, God sees you and God cares for you, and he sent his son to be a Saviour for you.
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” (Psalm 34:18 NLT)
“As for me, I look to the Lord for help. I wait confidently for God to save me, and my God will certainly hear me.” (Micah 7:7 NLT)
“O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope; the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born.”
Join me on Mondays and Wednesdays throughout Advent for more Christmas Hope! Links to all the posts in the series can be found here.