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Meet the Nativity is a time-traveling romantic comedy in which 21st- and 1st-century Christmases magically collide.

Episode 1, released today, introduces our hero: Will.

Meet the Outsider

Will is our everyman. He’s desperate to belong, but he can never gain the acceptance he craves. We relate to Will because we all want to be accepted—embraced at the heart of a loving community. Somehow, though, Will’s charms fall short and his efforts seem wasted.

For Will, the magical turn comes when he meets the nativity. He finds an instant welcome. Though he’s the most ridiculous outsider he finds he belongs with this family. Though he has nothing, he is given everything. In fact, because he has nothing, his empty hands are the perfect resting place for Jesus.

Outsiders Become Insiders

Meet the Nativity is based on an old apocryphal tale—the shepherd who shows up to the nativity gift-less. He feels his lack keenly. He is outshone by the opulent presents of the magi and, dejected, is about to leave when he notices a problem. Joseph has his arms full with the gold and frankincense. The third magi wants to give Mary the myrrh, but her hands are full with her precious firstborn. She needs to offload the baby. But who is fit to receive Jesus? Wonderfully, she moves toward the empty-handed outsider. Precisely because he is empty, he is filled. With nothing to bring, he instead receives Christ, the ultimate Christmas gift.

Isaiah 9:6 says, “To us a child is born, to us a son is given.” And this present is offered to “a people walking in darkness” (Isa. 9:2). To those who have nothing—who know they have nothing—Christ becomes our everything.

Perhaps you feel you don’t belong—not in earthly families, and not in God’s family either. Christmas is God’s welcome. God the Son became God our brother to bring us home to God the Father. We bring nothing to the table. Our offerings are as ridiculous as crumpled wrapping paper. Worse, we bring sin and selfishness. But that’s why he came. And in return he offers himself.

This Christmas, bring your emptiness and receive God’s fullness. Here’s a family where anyone can belong.

Editors’ note: Here’s a behind-the-story explanation from Glen Scrivener.