Making Room For The Marginalised

It’s the last week of Advent and Christmas is just 4 sleeps away!

This week’s devotional scripture is:

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Luke 2:8-14

Jesus’ birth announcement was as understated as His actual birth. Rather than having the large fanfare the arrival of a King would usually have in the palace courts, Jesus’ birth was announced to shepherds. People who were not highly respected or really even deemed a part of society. ‘He is born into the margins and announced to the marginalized. Though he is the King of all kings, there is nowhere so foul he is too proud to go and no person so lowly he is too lofty to embrace’.

How else would God have shown that Jesus was for all people? It was a sign of the work Jesus would do in the years to come; He spent time with and blessed those who were deemed unworthy.

‘The shepherds show us that we don’t prepare to receive the King of heaven the same way we prepare to meet the celebrities of our day, through earthly displays of showiness. In fact, receiving our King requires we do just the opposite: we must empty ourselves of any human glory that gets in the way of receiving a heavenly one. We must instead journey to the margins, because it is there where the veil to heaven becomes thin enough to glimpse the divine.’

And again, I really do feel our estate and wider community reflects this week’s theme. Barking & Dagenham as a London borough is seen as quite a deprived area, and yet despite some of the stats about our area, we see the most amazing talent, entrepreneurship and community rallying. It’s great to see some of the most unassuming people taking on big forces like the council and BRL and fighting for better. It really s inspiring.

Painting by Bette Dickinson, Author of Making Room In Advent

Ponder

Who are the marginalized people in your community? What might it look like to position yourself to see God through them?

Breath Prayer

Inhale: You are “born to me.”

Exhale: May I receive your life.

This is our last blog post before Christmas day so on behalf of all of us at Church At Barking Riverside, Merry Christmas and a happy new year!

#ChritsmasAtBR #GodWithUs

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