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Monday, 5 December 2016

Jesus in a Manger

White. It’s a white world outside my windows this morning, a white world through which my neighbour and I took our usual walk. Frost made brittle the twigs and branches and revealed many a previously invisible web. Even now, hours later, it remains a white world out there.

Birds struggle in this weather, struggle to get the nourishment they need just to keep alive one more day. They need help. Nuts in feeders; fat balls on trees; bread crumbs on the ground. White is sterile, clean and pure, but unforgiving. 

Here in Scotland, white is cold, but on the Sahara where Mhairi was recently, white was hot. The white sands of desert as far as the horizon and beyond offered no hospitality to any living creatures. 

Those who have found themselves sentenced to life in a refugee camp find hospitality only in the open-handed gifts of others. Not nuts in feeders but couscous in UNHCR packets. 

God is often portrayed as clean and pure – white – but his love comes in technicolour brush strokes sweeping through our lives. Not nuts in feeders, couscous in packets, but Jesus in a manger.

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