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4th December - The homeless

And Jesus said to him, 'Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.'

Matthew 8:20

Born in a barn. Fleeing persecution as a refugee. Being raised in a poor family. Living a life seeking out not wealth and power but the lost and the sinner. We see Jesus feeding the hungry, speaking out against oppression and injustice, healing the hurting and loving the leper.

These are not the actions of a distant God, who doesn't care about his people, but a God who knows us and knows our situations. He knows from experience the plight of the homeless. He knows from living among the broken, the yoke of those who are in slavery. Addiction and temptation are not alien to Him. Trauma and indignity and humiliation are not strangers to Him. He chose, in Christ, to embrace the pain. The pain of humanity. And in doing so, in and through the torture, death and resurrection of Christ, is embraced also the healing of humanity.

Today, the poor are still with us. The healing of humanity comes today through the hands, feet and hearts of those who are Christ and bring Christ to those on the margins. The Son of Man with no place to lay his head calls us to join Him. How can our response be other than 'Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go'?

Kate Boardman is a curate in Gateshead

Daily prayer

Advent Christ, come to all with nowhere to lay their heads today. Give them the knowledge of your hope, your love and your salvation. Give us eyes to see, hearts to overflow and hands to reach out.

Amen

Lord, in this time of Advent open our hearts to those who feel excluded from Your church.
Help us draw in those on the margins and place them in the centre of our family.

Amen