Starting back with the angel appearing to Zacharias to announce that Elizabeth would have a baby boy named John. Add Mary, Joseph, a town of critical neighbors, Caesar Augustus and the Roman officials taking a census, roads crammed with travelers, busy innkeepers, shepherds, more angels, a star, a jealous king and three wise men. And of course the incomparable baby Jesus.
The ups and downs of Mary’s spiritual, emotional, and physical journey were surrounded by a community of other people. Some characters were hurtful. But others helped, brought gifts, and worshipped.
On the past couple of Fridays I’ve shared pieces of the Woodhouse Family story. A rollercoaster of a ride that impacted the community of Colorado Springs in ways many will never forget. You see, after losing their house, this family was chosen to be on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. And a community stepped in to build them a home in just seven days. Hundreds, if not thousands, of volunteers gave of their time and talents to meet the needs of others.
The show’s gifts transformed the lives of one family. Yet, they were not the only ones touched by the experience. Countless strangers sent notes sharing they were blessed to be a part of the story. As one wrote, “You’ll never know how my life was changed by participating in this week.”
As I reflect back on the community surrounding the birth of Jesus, I wonder how many of them could have said the same thing? That their lives were forever changed by being a part of something bigger than themselves?
What about you? Has your life been impacted by the love of a community? Or have you been blessed to show that love to someone else?