R – Rejection —> Ah, Christmas. The time of year when everyone is ready to help those in need. We send shoeboxes around the world and gifts to children across town. We make cookies for neighbors and fill nursing homes with music. Stories of extraordinary acts of kindness fill news broadcasts and radio airwaves. It is a season of sharing, caring, accepting, helping. Let’s face it, it brings out the best in most of us.
Isaiah’s description of the coming Messiah shows a completely selfless man. He would carry our griefs and our sorrows. He would be pierced and crushed for our wrongdoings. The Messiah looked at us, all of us, saw our desperate need, and met it by His coming to earth that first Christmas.
Yes, the angels sang, the shepherds came, the star shone, and the wisemen worshipped, but most would refuse this most precious gift. Isaiah said the Gift would be rejected, forsaken, and despised. And in fulfillment of that prophecy, Jesus lived a life of rejection.
His life was in peril, from Herod during His infancy to religious leaders during adulthood. A psalmist said, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner stone.” This perfectly describes Jesus. Needed, but cast away; called for again and taking His place as the most important, most supreme in our lives.
We give wanting to help, never thinking that our simple gifts would be discarded or rejected. We love to see the look of joy on the face of the recipient. During the holidays, gift giving can bring hero status. Yet, Christ came into the world and the world didn’t know Him. His rejection by many was felt before He cried in that manger, still He came. The burden of giving this gift was known before the angel appeared to Mary, still He delivered it.
As you give to others around you, remember the perfect gift of Jesus. Wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. A sinless, perfect life sacrificed for us. Risen again with power to rescue each of us from destruction. Rejected, but freely given and continually offered.
Is. 53:1-12, Ps. 118:22, Acts 4:11, Lk. 20-9-17