My wife and I are in the process of mortgaging our home and selling all of our belongings on Craigslist in order to purchase flights home for Christmas. Despite having to fork over a small fortune to Delta Airlines, we are ecstatic at the thought of being home for the holidays. It is always great to be with family that you haven’t seen in some time, but it seems to be particularly special around this time of year.
One, however, needn’t be naive – the holidays can be some of the most beautiful and ugly times among family. No amount of holiday mirth can cover up all of the old baggage that you share with those you love the most. Tensions. Annoyances. Drama. All families have these, yet we will fork over our inheritance to get on a flight to go home for the holidays.
We were made for community, and the family unit is one of its most basic structure. The Bible reminds of us of the importance of family. One can see this in the way Scripture contains prolific familial language, even when describing the most divine of communities, that shared among God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Sprit. Despite this, we see that the effects of the fall are well alive within our families, even within the seemingly most “stable.”
This Sunday, we continue our Advent series on Mercy and are reminded that we have an even closer family than the one with whom we exchange gifts on Christmas day. As brothers and sisters in Christ we share the most intimate of familial ties. Like within our biological families, we can feel the effects of sin. It seems as if everyone has a story of how they were “burned” within a church. Our passage this week, however, reminds us that as God’s people we should be characterized by mercy, especially towards our fellow believers. This Advent, let us be quick to show mercy to one another and zealous in our desire to build up our spiritual family. God is working in it and through it. It is His bridegroom, for whom He died. Let us rejoice in this and in one another!
Scripture: Galatians 6:9-10
Sermon: The Priorities of Mercy
Song of Preparation: Once in Royal David’s City (arr. Traditional)