Social media has provided an odd phenomenon. You get to see pictures of friends at parties you weren't invited to. We hear regular reports on the increase of loneliness in our country. Much of it is tied to this sense of being "uninvited," and then the "fear of missing out."
This "uninvited" feeling seems to be on the rise. "I'm on the outside." "I don't belong." "I'm forgotten." "Everyone ignores me." "I'm out of place."
Catholic monk and writer Thomas Merton once wrote:
“Into this world, this demented inn in which there is absolutely no room for him at all, Christ comes uninvited.”
A peculiar feature of Jesus' birth is that at every turn the Son of God was uninvited. No one asked him to come. No one expected him. No one planned for his arrival or rolled out the red carpet. The Bible says, “There was no room for them in the inn.” A barn for a birthplace. A manger for a crib.
John, the gospel writer, says it stronger: “He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.” (John 1:10-11) He was not just uninvited, but rejected.
The same resistance is found in the third millennium. We obsess over power, politics, and pleasure. We are full and there is no room for the Word made flesh.
But consider this: although Christ was uninvited, still he came. And he still comes. This is the beauty of the incarnation. He came:
When we didn’t want him, but we needed him.
When we didn’t ask for him, but he wanted us.
When we didn’t look for him, but he found us.
Jesus stands at your door and knocks. He comes not as an intruder, but Savior. He crashes your party to invite you to something better. The Infant has come to raise the dead and rule the world.
Are you suffering loneliness? Is a friend or family member?
Stay with them. And tell them of the lonely Outsider we call Lord, the uninvited Jesus.