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I’VE BEEN THINKING...ABOUT THE NOBODIES OF CHRISTMAS

I have enjoyed exploring my family tree for over a year now. But, have yet to find anybody famous! I have found people that have been in the news, but no one that will be in the history books years from now. This got me thinking about all the “nobody’s” of the earth. There will always be celebrities, but think about it. There are millions more people who live their lives and do their jobs but never seem to have even 15 minutes of fame, let alone end up on the cover of a magazine. In a hundred years, these nobody’s, will be just a name on a tombstone.

We can't read about them in a book at the library. I’ve learned that finding details about the majority of ancestors is near impossible. It is almost as if their lives didn't count for anything that was long-lasting. They were, “nobody’s” in a world full of “nobody’s”. Perhaps you can think of a few “nobody’s” as well.

When I think of the “nobodies” of the world, I recall a poem by Emily Dickinson that I had to learn in grade school:

  • I'm nobody, who are you?
  • Are you nobody too?
  • There's a pair of us, don't tell!
  • They'd banish us, you know!

  • How dreary to be somebody!
  • How public like a frog,
  • To tell your name the livelong day
  • To an admiring bog!

The beautiful thing about being a “nobody” is that nobody seems to notice. We get to go places incognito with no paparazzi delaying our travel!

Well, there are several nobody’s in the Bible as well. They are the people who do what God wanted them to do, but who never really get the recognition they deserve. We don't even know some of their names!

As we approach Christmas 2011, I want to focus on some of the nobody’s in the Christmas story. For example, there was that fellow named Joseph who is part of the story, but we really know very little about him. Think about it, after Jesus is born, he is mentioned only as “the child's father”. If it hadn't been for Jesus, we probably never would have heard of Joseph.

There are other nobody’s in the Christmas story, that most of us probably know even less about than Joseph. Each of them did something to receive at least a verse in Scripture. The four Sundays of Advent give us the opportunity to glimpse into the lives of four of these unique characters. Basically, these are nobody’s, and yet…? There is much to learn from the lives of these people. What does it mean for us, that God used plain, ordinary folks to accomplish great things?

Most of us will at some point, question our worth to God. We *know* that we are children of God, born in God’s image, and that God has called each of us by name. We *know* that Jesus Christ died for our sins, and that the Holy Spirit dwells within each one of us. BUT…on an everyday basis, we completely discount our value to God. Despite our egos, we deny that God is calling on each of us to be part of a creative, ongoing, dynamic plan of salvation. We believe that if we come to church, sing, pray and are nice, that the Holy Spirit will pass us by, and not disturb our comfortable lives.

There is a powerful reason why God uses “nobody’s” to carry out the mission of the church. It’s exactly because we have doubts and fears, and questions. We can’t make a difference all by ourselves. It’s when we are faithful to what God asks us to do, that we are “somebody’s”. That’s when we discover the deeper meaning, purpose and value to our lives.

Occasionally, we sing a song at the 10:30 service and the chorus is:

  • He knows my name,
  • He knows my ev’ry thought
  • He sees each tear that falls,
  • And he hears me when I call.

Even though we may feel like a "nobody" here on earth, we are all "somebody’s" to God. We matter! I love this verse in Romans, “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

During this Christmas Season, let’s remember that the God of the “Nobody’s” came to earth and was born in a manger, so that we could be forgiven for our sins and drawn into God’s great adventure while we’re on earth.

~Pastor J

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