Being “x-ed” out hurts, whether it’s being “x-ed out of a kickball game, a job, or a relationship… it hurts.  What can be more painful than having the one you love refer to you as their “ex”? Yet, over 50% percent of people who were once married experience this. Young adults know what it means to be x-ed out all too well. Our generation is labeled gen X. Small in number because so many have been x-ed out in the womb, our generation is often overlooked and rejected as a lost cause.  Have you been personally x-ed out?   Jesus can relate.

While still in the womb, He was x-ed out of the inn. When born, Herod tried to x Him out killing all the baby boys in Bethlehem. Even today our society has x-ed Him out of His own birthday celebration, referring to Christmas as xmas.  To be honest, each one of us has x-ed Christ out,  x-ing Him out of our decision making and our priorities. We x Christ out of our lives when we follow our sinful desires and when we x-out others.

However, Christmas marks the time when God reached out and extend His hand of love and fellowship to the world through the person of Jesus Christ. God extend an invitation to the shepherds, as well as the gentile Magi from the east, to come and see the Christ. As Jesus grew He would extend His hand of love and fellowship to all those who were x-ed out in their society (e.g., women, lepers, Samaritans, and tax collectors). In His mercy, He extended His hands on the cross where He was x-ed out for your sins and mine. Moreover, His resurrection signals to all who believe in Him, that God will never x-out us of His fellowship.

As you celebrate the birth of Christ at Christmas, you also celebrate your new life in Him. For regardless of what the world thinks of you, in Holy Baptism God has marked you with the sign of the cross (i.e., an “x”) both upon your forehead and your heart to identify you as one redeemed by Christ, the one who was  x-ed out. As result, God is no longer your “ex”, but rather you are His beloved forever. This Christmas as Christ lives in you, look for someone who has been x-ed out, and be sure to extend the hand of love and fellowship to them.

Have a Merciful Christmas!

originally published at