Advent Devotional 12/20: Family Reunion
I love the holidays because it is a time to reconnect with family. This was an especially precious thing when I was a college student. Coming home for Christmas was like returning from exile. Maybe going home to Hawaii from the frigid Cleveland area had something to do with that feeling. But definitely, reconnecting with loved ones was important to me.
This is true for the church as well. This Sunday, we will celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ at our Christmas worship gathering. Christmas Sunday is like a family reunion. I am so looking forward to all of you who will be at Kardia this Sunday! We are a family of faith, and we belong to one another.
It is a bittersweet experience, though, because many who seek out churches on Christmas Sunday are not there the rest of the year. It’s almost as if some of us feel like we are extended family, only visiting on special occasions.
But God did not send his son into the world to raise up nephews and nieces. God sent Jesus into the world to raise up sons and daughters.
“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—” (John 1:12, NIV).
The real miracle of Christmas isn’t just that there was born in Bethlehem a child of God, but that because of this child, we have become children of God. This is such an important message, and I am excited to proclaim it this Sunday to all who come, especially to those who need to hear it most, who might not hear the good news of Jesus Christ at any other time of the year.
I want to encourage every one of you to join me in praying and preparing for this Sunday. It is a big Sunday. It is a great opportunity for people to find faith in God through Jesus Christ. We don’t want to miss this chance to let people know that unto them, a savior has been born.
If you’re involved in leading some aspect of the worship or fellowship, make every effort to be as prepared as you can, both practically and spiritually. Let’s do what we do with excellence. For all of us, let’s be prepared to give God our very highest praise. And let’s be in prayer that new spiritual daughters and sons are born to God this Sunday. It is going to be a great family reunion!
Father, we are excited to come home for Christmas to our spiritual home, your church. We praise you because you have made us your children through faith in Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit. We pray for all those who will gather this Sunday, that each person would experience the grace of being your child by faith.
Prepare everyone’s hearts to encounter you in a life changing way. Help us to prepare ourselves to worship and serve to the very best of our ability. Use the music and the message, the food and the fellowship, to help people experience the reality of your love for them. Let many people reconnect with your church so that they become a vital part of the family, not just at Christmas, but throughout the year. And teach us to be a committed, loving family toward one another, as you have been to us.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.