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The Curiosities of Christmas

December 5, 2020 by Todd Outcalt (UR Books)

“Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, 

which the Lord has made known to us.” 

—Luke 2:15



Many Christians don’t often think of Jesus as a curiosity—but throughout the Gospels we see that people were frequently drawn to him because of their questions or intrigue. This was certainly true for the shepherds. “Let’s go see what has happened,” they said to one another after hearing an angel proclaim that a baby, the Messiah, had been born in Bethlehem.

In our day, we would do well to recover this sense of curiosity about Jesus—as many people still have questions about him, while others are at least willing to entertain the notion that Jesus, or some aspect of his life or teaching, would be relevant to them or their situation.

The Advent and Christmas seasons, in particular, lend particular relevance in our time—especially as people are looking for hope, relationship, and love through a season of despair, isolation, and doubt. Many people are wondering if Jesus offers any assurance. And the church can still be a voice for change and an invitation to journey with Jesus.

This year, Christmas may also hold a more powerful place in our hearts—as our curiosities can be awakened and new questions proffered. We may discover the powerful hold that Jesus has in our hearts or perhaps find that Jesus has been closer to us than we at first realized.

Remain curious. Remain hopeful. There is much that’s new to learn about Jesus and much more to see on our journey with him.


Todd Outcalt is senior pastor of Calvary United Methodist Church in Brownsburg, Indiana and author of Let Us Go Now to Bethlehem: Daily Devotions for Advent and Christmas. Learn more at UpperRoomBooks.com


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Our resolve must be different. My prayer is that we have finally reached a tipping point. My hope is that when the protests fade and the marches slow that our will as a church to truly eradicate the scourge of racism won’t dissipate but grows even stronger.” 

View a growing list of resources for the spiritual work of overcoming racism.