The meaning of Christmas is like a mustard seed. When we first hear it as a child, it is just a story – a cute baby Jesus lying in a manger surrounded by animals, shepherds, angels and wise men from the east. Then we learn about the meaning of the story.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
That’s great news. I know it. But really? Perhaps, I know it as a theory and not as 3 D I Max theater realism?
Yesterday, I went to a soup kitchen to serve Christmas Eve brunch as a volunteer. When you go there, people always ask. “Are you a staff or a volunteer or a client?” “Clients” are the poor people who are serviced with free food.
As a volunteer, I got busy in the kitchen right away under the direction of a staff, cooking, washing dishes and serving food. It’s fun to serve food. “Would you like some bacon? Scrambled egg? Gravy on it?” I feel good about myself doing it. I also enjoy eating food myself afterward.
But what I find it hard to do is actually sitting at one of the tables and interacting with the “clients.” Talk to them and listen to them. That is, identifying myself being the same as them. First of all, it is boring. In most cases, nothing much is going on in their lives – just trying to get by day to day. Then there is my pride. Not wanting to be identified as a needy person who receives food for free. I’d rather be busy in the kitchen.
This morning, Christmas day, when I got up, it dawned on me that God came to us to sit at a table with the poor, sick and even criminals. It’s the day God came to be with us and to become us. To make it okay for all of us humans in need.
Because God came, the poor and sick people got instantly upgraded from being sub humans to valuable human beings. I want to imitate Jesus by sitting at the humble table.