Included

For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”

~ Luke 2:30-32

Have you ever felt like you didn’t fit? Like you didn’t belong? It is horrible. You feel alone in the midst of many others. You feel isolated and exposed at the same time. Sometimes this happens purely as a result of circumstance, like when we find ourselves in a foreign culture and know we don’t belong. Sometimes we are deliberately excluded by others because of how we look, talk, dress, or perform on the athletic field. Still other times, we feel a sense of alienation that comes completely from within; a feeling that we don’t belong even though nothing in the environment or anyone’s behavior is causing it. Whatever the reason, feeling excluded is deeply painful.

This is something that Luke must have felt and felt deeply. Luke was the only Gentile to write a gospel. He was an outsider. He wasn’t chosen. Luke didn’t belong to Israel, He wasn’t a Jew, and so, he was excluded. Luke knew what it was to not belong. He knew how it felt to not be welcomed in a synagogue, even though he now worshiped the same God. Luke knew what it was like to have people refuse to eat with him or let him into their home just because he was a Gentile.

Luke also knew that none of that mattered. Jesus had changed everything. The birth of Jesus was “good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” This is why Luke wrote his gospel. The core message of his gospel is about how the Gentiles were included in God’s plan of salvation. Jesus had come to rescue everyone. God had chosen Israel for a reason, to bring the light of salvation to the whole world. In this little baby, from a tiny Jewish family, God offers salvation to everyone. No one is excluded.

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