Daily Advent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Tuesday, December 13

By Jeffrey H. Johnson, M.D.

Welcome to the Family

Read: Colossians 3:16 NLT

“Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.”

Earlier this year the historic Murphy Builders and Pathfinders Sunday School classes came together to form one class, Murphy Builders Pathfinders. Together, we have been studying the book of Colossians verse by verse. When we came to this passage, we noted that the heading for Chapter 3 was “Living the New Life.” Paul in this letter points us to the supremacy of Christ in creation (Chapter 1) and then goes on to tell us that as believers in Christ – new creatures (2 Corinthians 5:17) – Christ is our life (Chapters 2 and 3). Because of this, we are encouraged to set our “sights on the realities of heaven” (Chapter 3,v.1) and “think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth” (v.2). We studied that we “died to this life” and that our “real life is hidden with Christ in God” (v.3).

Sounds lofty and beautiful, right? That’s how life is for all of us, right?  

On the contrary: as we studied this passage, we noted that life can be HARD. I have often said to my patients who go through difficult times this time of year that “the holidays magnify life as we know it … and sometimes that may not be so good.”  

So what are we to do? I believe that in these difficult days, we need our family … our family of God. We need to come together each week and dwell on Christ and his richness in our lives. We need to teach and counsel each other. We need to sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thanksgiving (just last week our class spent the whole hour singing some of the great old hymns we all know and love). We find then that we are strengthened as we head back out into the world and into life on earth as we know it.  

Jesus came so that we could be a part of the family … his kingdom. During this Advent season, come together with your family — the family of God — and be strengthened and encouraged, always remembering that “Christ is our life”.


Father, thank you for this time of year when we remember that you sent Jesus, so that we could be a part of your family. Amen.

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