Do you believe that you must be a certain type of person to become a Christian or go to church? Many believe this to be true - that their lifestyle or current beliefs mean that they would never be welcome in their local church or Christian community. Tragically, this has been true at times, but it should never be so. All of us, without exception, need the forgiveness of God and his transforming power. God welcomes everyone, as the Christmas story shows without a shadow of a doubt.
Jesus was born to Mary – a young girl, with no social status who faced the scandal of having a child outside of wedlock.
Joseph was Jesus’ stepfather – a carpenter who worked with his hands and probably had very little education.
The angels came to the Shepherds – a humble profession; they were seen by society as rough, working long hours in a dangerous job through the night.
God spoke to the Wise Men – foreigners who would be refused entry to the Jewish temple on the grounds that they were not Jews.
Jesus himself was born in a stable – he didn’t come to the religious people of his day nor did he come to the important people. Later in life Jesus was known as ‘a friend of sinners’ and was judged harshly by the religious leaders. He welcomed everyone, and He will welcome you.
The Bible tells us
Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live.
From the Bible, Isaiah, chapter 55.