Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you… God chose things despised by the world,[a] things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. – 1 Corinthians 1:26, 28
Nobody wanted J.T. (not his real initials) on their team. I wasn’t chosen first when we picked teams to play softball during recess, but J.T. was always chosen last—if chosen at all. He might have been as good a ballplayer as Jimmy Byrd, but he never got the chance to prove it because he just didn’t fit in. He wore ragged, holey bib overalls to school every day. Nobody else ever wore bib overalls, not in our school. I don’t remember J.T. ever wearing a jacket, even in the middle of winter. He always brought his lunch in a paper bag. I guess he didn’t have the 25 cents needed to buy the school lunch and half-pint of milk. J.T. was a loner, probably not by his choice. I am not proud when I say that “we learned at an early age how to shut out the unwanted”—the outcasts, the misfits.
J.T. would have felt at home with the shepherds on the night of our “Dear Savior’s birth” (Luke 2:8-20). They, too, were misfits. Their jobs would not allow them to keep all the ceremonial washings and regulations. The good folks questioned their integrity and honesty. Most of the Jewish society was happy for them to be in the fields—not in their town. J.T. could easily have been one of those shepherds.
I wish I could see J.T. again. I would like to tell him that God shared the greatest news ever told first to people just like him: “Don’t be afraid!” the angel 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 2:10-11-10 NLT). The shepherds’ ears were tuned into the wafting wind and bleating sheep. Their eyes focused on enemies that would kill or steal their sheep and on the others in their little colony of outcasts. But that night they saw and heard the armies of heaven and, with great ambition, went to see the Son of God!
I wish I could cup J.T.’s face in my hands and plead, “J.T., that’s you!”
But aren’t we all misfits? Nothing about us is fit for the Kingdom of Heaven.
God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God. – 1 Corinthians 1:28-29
So I outstretch my arms to heaven and yell with gusto—MERRY CHRISTMAS, YOU PLANET OF MISFIT PEOPLE! GOOD NEWS TO YOU: DON’T BE AFRAID. CHRIST HAS BEEN BORN FOR YOU!
Oh, yeah! I Love Christmas!