It happened during a family church service just before Christmas.
We had been asked to divide into groups to do mimes of the various parts of
the Christmas story. These mimes were then presented one by one to the
In one group, a father of six played the part of Joseph. Mary was his wife
in both respects and it helped that she even had the same name! Their
latest little baby made a perfect Baby Jesus. The next youngest child stood
quietly by the cradle. There was an ‘interviewer’, and he moved from one
person to another, asking what person or animal they represented, getting
answers such as, ‘Shepherd’, ‘Lamb’, ‘Mary’, ‘Joseph’, etc. When young
Andrew was asked who he was, such a pathetic little voice replied, ‘Nobody’,
because they had forgotten to give him a character to mime.
The reply brought a laugh, but I wondered how many others in the church that
day, felt as if they were a ‘nobody’. If there are people in our church
feeling that way, how many outside the church feel the same?
By definition, a ‘nobody’ is a ‘person of no importance, authority or
position, a nonentity’, and I have to confess that there have been times
when I was so absorbed with myself, so depressed, that I felt I was not
worthy of God’s love, that I was a ‘nobody’. Of course in one sense that is
true, but I now realize that in Christ, I am the daughter of a King. Now
that’s being a ‘Somebody’!
If you know you are loved unconditionally and are precious to God, can you
reach out to others who do not have that knowledge or conviction? When we
give help, gifts, but especially love to others, it is like a fragrant
offering to Him.
It is now coming up to Christmas, and it is a sad fact of life that there
will be more suicides over this holiday period than at any other time of the
year. These people have given up on life because they haven’t had anyone to
show them love, to give them a purpose for living.
What can we do for the person who thinks they are a ‘nobody’? Do we even
know who they are? They may live in our street, attend our church, or even
work with us. We may even put ourselves at risk in finding out. Risk?
That word is a bit strong, isn’t it?
Just recently I read these words: “To laugh is to risk appearing a fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental. To reach out to another is to
risk involvement. To expose your feelings is to risk rejection. To love is
to risk not being loved in return. To go forward in the face of
overwhelming odds is to risk failure. But risks must be taken because the
greatest risk of all is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing does
nothing, has nothing, and is nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow,
but he cannot learn, he cannot feel, he cannot change, he cannot grow, and
he cannot love. Chained by his certitudes, he is a slave. Only the person
who risks is truly free.”
The challenge of the bible says: “Make sure you don’t take things for
granted and go slack in working for the common good; share what you have
with others. God takes particular pleasure in acts of worship – a different
kind of ‘sacrifice’ – that takes place in the kitchen and workplace and on
the streets.” Heb. 13: 16TM
Cynthia Rowse, New Zealand
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