So that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
-I Corinthians 12:25-27
God made us to belong, to be at our best as groups, families, tribes. Even the most introverted among us need those connections and relationships. And we seek out additional ones. We join clubs and organizations, groups, and even root for teams we are not even on. Most of us cheer for a college team we never played on or a professional team. And even those of us who eschew sports can be found cheering for Team USA every 2 years. And we do it with our country loyalty outside the sports arena. And when we talk about these loyalties, we say "we" and "our."
Our church serves the homeless.
We used to not have sporting events on Sunday in this country.
We beat Duke last weekend.
We need to support our troops and first responders.
It can be argued if a little girl in a cheerleading onesie or a middle aged man with painted chest helps a team win, but what is not up for debate is how much we feel a part of these greater causes and groups. And because of that, it's worth examining when we choose to be a "we" and when we separate ourselves. Are we a "we" as first responders during times of crisis and when first responders are attacked for discrimination? Are we a "we" with people of color in low income areas in need of food and housing and when they are killed at higher rates statistically in law enforcement encounters? Are we a "we" with Latinos when we send our mission teams to Central and South America and when men, women, and children face tear gas and separation when seeking asylum from the violence our own ancestors may have fled coming here?
This Christmas, we have to reflect on our "we" affiliations.
I encourage you to think about the people you personally struggle to hold in your "we" circle. Think about who it would make you most uncomfortable to add to your nativity, gathering to worship the baby. Politicians, police officers, migrants, kneeling football players, soldiers, and even your rival sports team should all have a place there. If we proclaim a Lord and Savior of all people, they must all be a part of our "we," and our "us."