As the temperatures get colder during this season, I often find myself riding the stationary bike at the Family Y rather than the North Augusta Greeneway.  While I’m riding in the mornings, I often read and listen to scripture.  This morning I was reading Colossians 3, in which Paul is teaching new Christians about the new life that we have in Christ.

In verse 11, he writes,

“In this new life (with Christ), it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters and he lives in all of us.”

In this year of a pandemic, political and social unrest and uncertainty we have seen these challenges and issues polarize and divide families, groups, churches and even friends. Yet Paul invites us to remember that as followers of Jesus we are all one, created equally in the image of God. Regardless of our opinions on the pandemic, our ethnicity, our economic status or our political persuasion we have been invited to live united in the family of God.

As we look forward to celebrating the birth of Christ this Christmas, I’m reminded of the angel’s reassuring words to a bunch of terrified shepherds.

“Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.  The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!” (Luke 2:10,11)

In that uncertain moment the angel brought good news to those poor and frightened shepherds on that starry night. It was good news for ALL people. Christ the Savior has been born! No matter the color of your skin, the amount of money you have in the bank, the person or party you vote for or the beliefs you hold about masks, Christmas is for everyone!