The Homecoming

The Christmas season is a time for many that is marked by joy, festivities, frivolities and fun, a time to share and create new memories with friends and families. It is also a time to celebrate the lavish love of God and His amazing gift, Jesus Christ, to each of us, a gift not one of us deserves or could ever earn, only given to us through His amazing grace.

For many, though, it is a season of deep pain, darkness and separation from God and His people, a period of intense hopelessness instead of a time of hopefulness. In Luke 15, the father runs with his arms wide open to greet and freely love his lost son, the son who had demanded his share of the inheritance, squandered it away on a party lifestyle, and then returned home with nothing. The father loved both his sons – the younger son who left and led a life of sin, as well as the elder son who worked hard to earn his father’s love. Both were lost – the younger irreligious son as well as the religious one, who believed if he did all the right things, his father would love him.

During this advent season, it is the perfect time to invite and welcome home the lost, broken, and those living in mess and disarray. As his hands and feet, we are called to not only pursue those who are far from God but also fully welcome them into the fold. The church should be the perfect place for imperfect people, both lawless and legalistic, a place where one is able to come as they are and not have to clean up first. God meets us right where we are, just like the lost son who returned to the father in a filthy, unkempt and smelly state.

Make this Christmas a great homecoming. Open your heart to those in your families, communities and workplaces that are lost, broken and far from God. Reach out with arms open wide to care for the oppressed, poor and those in need. Care for them physically, spiritually and emotionally. We, as his children, should be known as a people of ridiculous grace and crazy love.

Light the way for those around you to return home.

“We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life!He was lost, but now he is found.” (Luke 15:32)

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