A Christmas Message

It's Tuesday night.  Wednesday's Word hasn't been written yet.  A gaggle of girls from Betsy's small group are in my kitchen decorating cookies.  And giggling and singing and making me smile.  I was tempted to skip my regularly scheduled blog post.  But then I had a thought to share.

As I listened to them laughing with each other, I told God "thank you".   Thank you for my kids.  And my kids' friends.  And my church.  And THE CHURCH. 

THE CHURCH.  I think that's the message of Christmas.

At Christmas, we celebrate not really the baby in the manger but more so the God-man on the cross.  The One who died that we might know Him.  That we might   grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. (Ephesians 6:16)

In Ephesians, Paul describes "the church" this way....  the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.  (Ephesians 1:22,23)  In THE CHURCH, we see the manifestation of Christ, the Head.  We see love in action, unity of purpose, to the glory of God the Father. 

I love my church.  I love THE CHURCH.  Because Jesus does.  I want you to love THE CHURCH, too.  If you've had a less than good experience with church, I want to say I'm sorry.  Probably all of us can relate to "church hurt" and it can really really really hurt.  I understand. I've had some, too.  Sometimes we THE BODY just don't get it right. And the pain is great.

But if you'll extend some grace and try again, I think you'll love THE CHURCH, too.  This Christmas, I hope you'll go to A CHURCH and celebrate.  Celebrate not only the love that sent the baby to the manger but especially the love that sent that grown-up baby to the cross.  That's the real Christmas gift.

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift. The gift of mercy and grace that adopts the outcast and undeserving into His family, THE CHURCH.