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It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

Devotional 11.30.22

Dear Faith Family, 

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation, (2 Corinthians 5:17-19). 

I like Christmas.  You know.  The celebration of the birth of our Christ.  The gathering of family and friends.  The special times of gathering and worship.  The music.  The food.  You’re waiting for the “but”, right? 

I don’t like the decorating.  You know.  Digging through the attic.  Bringing down the boxes (those boxes gain weight and multiply all summer long!).  Retrieving the manger scene from under the house that somehow made it through the doorway at the end of last Christmas season but has grown too large to make it back out of that same doorway!  Trying to find enough extension cords.  And, my favorite, untangling the Christmas lights only to discover that one of the lights in the string has gone on strike causing half of the string of lights to refuse to shine! 

(That last paragraph was starting to sound a little Grinchish.  Disregard if necessary.) 

And what do we tend to do with that half-lit string of lights?  I know, set it in a separate box and save the bulbs to fix another half-lit string of lights.  Or?  Buy some more lights.  I think we have 47 half-lit strings (Ok, probably not that many.) enjoying each other’s company in their own separate box (they don’t know about the “box” in the backyard that will soon make their acquaintance). 

Does that somehow reflect the church today?  A string of lights might just have a missing bulb, a loose bulb, or a bulb that needs new life.  Do they, we, somehow get discarded?  Imagine a string of lights where each bulb could assist the bulb on either side of it.  Now we’re talking! 

The church has been given the ministry of reconciliation.  And when I say church, I’m not talking about the building with a physical address.  I’m not even talking exclusively about the leadership or the staff.  No, the church is the people (bulbs) belonging to Christ.  We’ve been given the privilege of helping the “bulbs” on either side of us. 

Been looking for any missing bulbs lately?  Are you challenging the bulbs on either side to reconnect or stay connected to Christ, the source of power?  Maybe there’s a bulb next to you that needs someone to care enough to help them walk the path of repentance and reconciliation? 

I guess we could go to plan B and throw them in the box of misfit bulbs.  But aren’t we already in that box?  Isn’t that the true ministry of reconciliation?  Isn’t that where Christ reconciled us to Himself.  And isn’t that where we get to practice the ministry of reconciliation entrusted to us?  Let’s help each other shine the light of Jesus! 

Let there be lights, 
Pastor Karl