Let’s start by looking at the beginning of the Story of Jesus in Luke chapter 2 verses 1-7. I know what your going to say, I know that story, and your going to skip the text below, but please take a minute and read the scripture below and really think about it.

Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth.

This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.

And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city.

Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David,√?¬†in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child.

While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.

And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Did you catch that? When Jesus was born, he was homeless. He was born in a city far away from his hometown. There wasn’t even a room for him to stay in at any of the local hotels. The only place they could find for Jesus to be born, was out with the animals in a barn. ¬†Then to top it off his parents were so unprepared that they had to wrap him in cloths, to keep him warm, and laid him in a animal feed trough, which they used for his bed.

As you continue to read we see that Jesus and his family return to their home in Nazareth, but only for a couple of years. ¬†When in Matt. 2 we see that an angel appears to Joseph and tells him to take his family and to flee to Egypt, because Herod is searching for and killing all the baby boys under the age of 2. So here we see that Jesus is a refugee, an alien in a foreign land, until Herod dies and it’s safe for their return to Nazareth.

What we learn is that Jesus was born into homelessness and for the first few years of his life he lived as a refugee, an alien, an illegal immigrant in a foreign nation. ¬†You might think it’s just chance that Jesus was born homeless and lived his first few years of life as an illegal immigrant, but its not.

Later during his ministry Jesus describes himself the same way, Matt 8:19-20:

Then a scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.”
Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”

You see Jesus was born homeless, lived as an refugee, alien, and an illegal immigrant, and then ultimately dies homeless.

So now let me ask you:

How often do you think of Jesus as the homeless person on the street? Or as the illegal immigrant? Or as the visitor from a distant land?

How often do you ignore that homeless person, the immigrant, or the foriegner?

The story of Christmas isn’t just a cute story about the romantic birth of a baby boy that will grow up to be the Saviour of the world. ¬†It’s a story to show us that God came to this world in homelessness, and walked this earth with us as an alien, a stranger, and an illegal immigrant. ¬†He wants us to understand that the people we so easily disregard are the very we need to love, that He identifies with them.

The care for the homeless, the alien, the fatherless, the widow, and the stranger are all keys throughout the Bible.  The people of Israel were commanded throughout the Old Testament to take care of these people groups.  When an outside came into their community they were to make that person feel at home and comfortable. In Isaiah 58:6-7 we see what true fasting looks like:

Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?

Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter‚??
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter‚??
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

You see the down and out are important in the eyes of God. ¬†The story of Christmas is here to remind us that Jesus has experienced life as an outsider, as the homeless, as the alien, and as the refugee. It’s to remind us to never take forgraanted all of the people around us, to love those that the rest of the world thinks are a lost cause. ¬†That is the story of Christmas.

Again let me ask you:

How often do you think of Jesus as the homeless person on the street? Or as the illegal immigrant? Or as the visitor from a distant land?

How often do you ignore that homeless person, the immigrant, or the foriegner?