Posted by: pmarkrobb | December 21, 2011

the “marginal” truth of Christmas

I am a big kid at Christmas, have been for as long as I can remember.  The season just suits my soul.  I love the “feel” that the season brings.  I love Christmas carols, Christmas movies, the smell of cookies baking and the warm glow of the Christmas tree.  It is a season where I am drawn to find a cozy spot and nestle into the warmth that is everything Christmas.

This year, however, my soul has been marinating on a particular thought or theme that is far removed from the pictures I just drew.  It’s the thought that Jesus was born in the margins.  Both the setting and it’s truth are far from the cozy spot that my soul loves to settle into.  Far from the quaint picture of a young couple, peaceful barn animals, shepherds and wise men huddled around a manger.

It has been a moving month in the life of my local church.  The past several weeks have seen a focus on the persecuted church, and a calendar week of hosting 28 homeless men and women, sleeping on single mattresses on basement floors.  The persecuted and homeless … broken and beautiful souls … the exact kinds that exist in the margins that Jesus was born into, and spent his adult life seeking out.  The message and truth of Christmas is that Jesus left heaven to be human for all of us, but perhaps those who should feel the most hope during this season are the persecuted and homeless.  I wonder if they do?

This wondering has motivated me to act, to offer my heart and hands in serving those in need.  It motivated me to step, even if only toe-deep, into the margins.  There is real life there … real brokenness, but also real beauty.  My desire is not to call attention to my own action, but to invite you into the margins with me.  To provide a brief pause in your own experience of the season to see this “marginal” truth.  I have seen it and experienced it in a way that has permanently changed me.

Jesus arrived in the crudest of settings.  His family was on the run not long after he was born.  As an adult, the Son of Man had “no place to lay his head” (Luke 9:58).  And on his road to the cross, he endured the most inhumane treatment imaginable.   Sounds like a life those in the margins would be quite familiar with.

This year I pray that you are just a bit more aware of the “marginal” truth of Christmas, and that it motivates you to seek and to serve those who are lost.

Merry Christmas from all of us at Journey OnWord!


  1. Thanks for being a voice that sends out rings like a stone droped in a pond. And thanks for being a part of our little pond.

  2. thank you for this Mark, so often it is easy to get caught up in the coziness of Christmas and forget the cost that was paid. Have a wonderful Christmas!

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