Advent devotion – December 25, 2009

Scripture – John 1: 1–14

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1:14a)

When we eat our Christmas meal, our family will gather around a big, round oak table that has been in the family since our parents were first married.

A variety of weird characters has sat around this table over the years. Our family was involved in the theater and in music—so that explains a lot! But it was the weekly breakfasts that our folks hosted that ensured interesting guests. Every Saturday they put out breakfast food and opened the doors. Church friends, theater friends, and neighbors mingled, listening to records, singing, or playing games. Everybody was welcome around the same table—we all rubbed elbows and were the richer for it.

At the birth of Jesus—when the Word became flesh—a strange group of characters gathered. Poor and morally suspect shepherds; wealthy and wise magi; Joseph, a carpenter who had agreed to adopt this child; young Mary, giving birth to a baby whose father was in question. Not to mention the animals. This was the first of the child’s own “Saturday morning breakfasts,” which later included rich and poor, tax collector and prostitute, adulterer and priest.

That’s what church is—a bunch of characters drawn by Jesus to be community. He came to dwell among us all.

Dear God-with-us, help your church today be a place where people who are welcome nowhere else feel at home. Help us to bring our entire selves—body and soul—to the Christ child, our Host. Amen.

The Rev. Mary Lynn Tobin
pastor, Davis Community Church, Davis, California

Order Proclaiming the Good News of God's Peace.

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