Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Least Likely

New Years Eve is quickly approaching. Often during this time of year, people begin writing New Years resolutions - things they plan to change or work on or do throughout the upcoming year. After realizing how horrible I am at holding to these resolutions, I stopped making them. Instead, each year on New Years Eve (or, around there anyway), I write a list of the lessons I learned that year. I've always found these fun to look back. Each little lessons brings back memories of people and events that made an impact on me.

The past couple days, I have been starting to collect my thoughts on which lessons from 2015 will be included in my New Years Eve "lessons learned" list - and there have been a lot - and realized many of them center around one theme. I reread my posts from the past four years and noticed that many of these also have this same theme. I started thinking back on my life, and the lessons I learned even as a child, and again found this same theme.

This theme is the fact that I have found God's presence in what I would have considered the least likely places, during the least likely events, and in the least likely people.

Who are these people? They are the homeless, the mentally and physically disabled people, children, babies, unwed mothers, single fathers, those living in poverty, those living with depression, those who've been abused, alcoholics and drug users, and those whom I have tried to avoid simply because I didn't like them for one reason or another. 

Through all my years of Sunday School, confirmation classes, Bible studies, and even worship services I have not learned nearly as much as I have from these "least likely" people. Every moment I have grown spiritually, and have felt God's presence, and have learned what it means to be Christian has happened not because of any kind of Church education or service, but through those God has placed in my path.

Our Gospel lesson today (Luke 1:39-55) shows this same theme.

God's presence (or, rather, God himself as Jesus) is found in a pregnant, unwed, peasant girl. God is found in what seems to be a least likely person. He could have come to the world in a rich family. He could have been born a prince, to a royal family. He could have entered into this world with wealth and status. But no. God came to us in human form in a stable to the fiancee of a carpenter.

And just as God came to us through this unwed peasant girl, and just as God has shown his presence to me through those less fortunate than others, we also have the ability for God to show others his presence through each of us. He wants to show his presence through each of us. Through our love to others - our kindness, generosity, service, comforting words, and so many other actions - we are showing God's presence to someone else.

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