And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
The angel said it.
The singular message of the annunciation of Jesus is inclusive: for all people.
We tend run ruts and circles and see the same people, the same circumstances, the same economic strata, day after day after year. This isn’t a bad thing, because we are to live the life we’ve been given, in the place where we live, but it can be to our detriment that we fail to see the infinite possibility of these two words:
These three syllables are vast as the ocean and harder to explore, define and understand than space.
All those people, all those souls, all those dreamy-eyed moms and beaten down garbage pickers in India, all the Hindus bathing in dirty, sacred rivers and illiterate natives fishing the Amazon, the screaming day trader on the stock exchange floor, the old man who made terrible mistakes, the lady bald from cancer, the child who plays among the farm animals in Mongolia, the straights, the gays, the heavily bearded, the orthodox, the shallow and selfish, the lonely, the famous, the barista who messed up your order…all people.
Who can know them? Who can meet them in the unplumbed depths of their personalities and whisper and woo the souls of everyone, all people?
Why must we drag out our pedantic crayons and draw the lines that keep in and keep out, that delineate our comfort zones, that divide so that we may conquer with our evangelical plans? Let’s instead celebrate the fact that we are citizens of the all people society.
It might make one feel infinitesimally obscure, less important, to be one of the populace of all people, but Christian, friend, doubter, fringe-dweller, you and I are all people. We are helplessly alone on a tide so huge that we can’t begin to find the shore, because all people who ever lived and ever will live and never had the chance to live adds up to a very large number of individual souls. For a second, let’s set the doctrine and cultural dictates aside and see what Jesus saw when he, the One and Only Begotten Son of God prayed. For you, for me:
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one – I in them and you in me – so that they may be brought to complete unity.
Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me.
I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
Oh, yes. He came and became one of all of us, but he is our north star, he is our pole and our center. Our spirits shudder as steal near a magnet and follow after him, our Good News. Might our minds and our hearts follow after these souls that seek oneness with our Creator? Do not all people long for the very thing that Jesus prayed?
All people; you and me and everyone; loved by God and loving him back; taking hand in hand across time and space and history and future and finally, fully knowing the fulfilling love of God for all of us.
This was the prayer–the very purpose– of Jesus. That we might, all of us, never again be separated from Our Father who made and loves us. This was the news shouted across the desert plain on the night of his birth. This was the prayer whispered in urgency from the lips of the Savior in the Garden of Gethsemane. This is the cry of all people.