Claremont UMC
Thursday, September 29, 2016

Christmas Nativity Displays


The Creative Peacemaking Committee has created a Nativity on Foothill Boulevard for the church and community to think how we can look for ways the Christ child continues to come into our world.  Thank you to John Zachary's creative and professional talents for making these Nativities a reality.  


“Whatever we think about the virgin birth or the historical Nativity story, it stands as a symbol of acceptance and even celebration of those who have been outcast.  Jesus, who was born in poverty, out of wedlock, and from a foreign land came into the world with the promise of greatness and a celebration fit for a king.

 “As we celebrate Christmas this year we should be reminded of all of those who are excluded, unwelcomed, rejected, and oppressed.  In our effort to give meaning to OUR holiday we have often stigmatized the poor and the undocumented people among us by creating customs and ceremonies that include those with means and say to the poor and those who do not look like us or speak our language, “We were not thinking of you when we planned this,” or “You don’t belong.”  Jesus understood the plight of the poor:  “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid.  But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind.  And you will be blessed.”  Luke 14:12-14.

 The celebration of his birth is about rejoicing the birth and the intrinsic value of every one.  It’s about celebrating in the midst of struggle, in the midst of hopelessness.”   


“We must look at all people to discover the prophetic voices among us.
The ancients looked to Christ as he delivered his radical message of love.

Ironically, Christ was the victim of hate and intolerance 
while he taught love and compassion.

We are living in a time where people need to embrace love
instead of fighting and devouring one another.

May we open our hearts as we celebrate the birth of Christ, let us learn
to love and embrace each other with openness and kindness.

Let us practice Christ’s teaching by loving those who are different
and those who need our compassion
and joining hands in celebration as brothers and sisters
sharing our voices, and our differences.”


A CHILD WAS BORN in poverty.  His parents could not read or write, moved often, never owned a house, or acquired any wealth. Yet despite these humble beginnings, the child grew up with love and guidance to become a great healer, teacher, and man of courage who preached a message of liberation, inclusiveness, tolerance, and love.  Much of the world aspires to his ideals.

 If Jesus were born in America today, Jesus would likely be born into the poverty of the inner city slums or the poverty of an isolated reservation, or perhaps born in a far-flung trailer to the working poor.  He might even be born in PRISON like the 300 babies expected to be born in California prisons this year.  We incarcerate far more people than any industrialized country in the world.  Poor people are more likely to be arrested and incarcerated than people with higher income, despite similar offense-rates. 

Christ’s humble birth reminds us, that even the least of us has the potential for greatness and rather than dehumanize them we must shine a light on all humanity, so that the brightness of their potential an be revealed through our compassion and through Christ’s example of love for the poor.  “When did we see yousick or in prison and go to visit you?”  The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least o these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”  Matthew 25:39-40