In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it can be easy to lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas. The familiar nativity scenes and carols remind us that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, a small dusty town in Judah. But this unassuming place held great significance, as foretold by the prophet Micah hundreds of years earlier:
"But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel." (Matthew 2:6)
Though one of the smallest towns in Judah, Bethlehem was chosen by God to welcome the long-awaited Messiah into the world. The image of Jesus as a shepherd who tends to the needs of his flock reflects the compassion and care he offers to all who follow him. As a shepherd protects his sheep, Jesus came to shield us from sin and death, guiding us to salvation.
Even today, Jesus remains our Good Shepherd, walking beside us through seasons of both joy and hardship. At Crossroads Outreach, we strive to model this gentle care and guidance in our work with the hurting, lost, and broken. Through acts of service, compassionate listening, and community building, we aim to create spaces where people feel seen, heard, and loved.
This Christmas, may the story of Christ's humble birth in Bethlehem inspire us to look beyond outward appearances. Let us strive to see each person as the precious child of God that they are, worthy of dignity, respect, and care. And may the love of the Good Shepherd sustain us as we walk alongside others on their unique journeys.
We wish you and your loved ones peace and joy this holiday season. Thank you for being part of the Crossroads Outreach community. If this message resonates with you, please consider subscribing to receive our latest updates and invites to upcoming events. Together, we can share the hope and light of Christ with all who need it.
A Sweet Reminder:
As you enjoy candy canes this season, remember that this popular Christmas confection carries a symbolic meaning as well! The red stripes represent Christ's blood shed for us, while the white background stands for his purity and sinless nature. The peppermint flavor ties back to the hyssop plant used for purification rituals in the Bible. Finally, the cane's crook shape calls to mind the shepherds' staff, a reminder of Jesus the Good Shepherd caring for his flock. This simple, sweet treat can be a great way to spark conversation about the true meaning of Christmas with little ones. The next time you hang a candy cane on your tree or use them to decorate gifts, let it serve as a sweet reminder of Emmanuel, God with us!