Will you gather with family for Christmas? For some people, this is is a difficult event, marked by tension and even abuse. I think that many people have never heard about “God’s Love Story.”
One of my former clients from the pregnancy center once told me that when she married, she looked forward to taking on her husband’s name. She had not been able to choose her original birth family or any of the foster families where she grew up, but marriage offered my client her first chance to choose her own family. With World War II in full swing, my father had no opportunity to meet my mother’s family until after the wedding, but his future wife met his parents and siblings. They welcomed her into their home.
Though the letter for today is undated, it occurs in chronological order…my father jotted a brief note to his parents: “[Joan] wrote such a happy letter about [her visit with Mother and Father] last weekend and I think you must have been lovely to her – her descriptions of everything were so true to life that I almost felt as though I had had a visit with you all too.”
In Christ, we become part of God’s family. Not just a niece or nephew, not a distant cousin, but children and heirs of the Kingdom. Romans 8:14-17 tells us, “All who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, ‘Abba, Father.’ For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory.”
We do not need to fear abuse as an enslaved person might, but we are welcomed into the family as heirs! How do we offer a welcome when we meet new members of God’s family?