Read Romans 15:14-21.
One of my favorite parts of the preparations for Christmas is decorating the Christmas tree. I have an assortment of ornaments that I’ve collected over the years. Each one of them has a memory associated with it. As I put them on my tree, I am reminded of all the people who’ve had an impact on my life.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Rome as a reminder to them. I think we all need reminders: reminders of who God is, of who we are called to be, of the people who’ve shown us what love and faith is all about. Paul seems to conclude that ultimately it all comes back to Christ and to the proclamation of what Christ has done for us.
That is a perfect reminder for us as we journey through Advent toward the manger. We have so many traditions that we observe during this time, both sacred and secular. But ultimately all of them can be reminders to us of Christ and what Christ has done for us. As we think about the family members and friends we’ve spent holidays with over the years and remember those traditions we shared, may they all point us back to Christ and the love God shared through Jesus’ life.
Coming Christ, may the traditions of our faith and culture all remind us of your love for us. May the celebrations we have and the memories we’ve made all point us back to you and your great love. In Jesus’ name. AMEN!
Rev. Jeffrey Fiet
Co-Pastor, First Presbyterian Church (Scottsbluff, NE)