“Christ’s love compels us...” (2 Cor. 5:15); “May you have the power to understand… how long, how high, and how deep the love of Christ is (Eph. 3:18); “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself in love “(Gal. 5:6).
Heavenly Father, today the airports and highways of America will be full of Thanksgiving travelers and holiday-makers. Tomorrow, the “fullness” will continue with kid-energy, food-comas, and a wide range of emotions.
We are grateful for the common joys of life we celebrate during Thanksgiving—favorite dishes. old stories, and new faces (babies, engagements, and guests). The sights and sounds of Christmas also emerge—fueling our joy, and a bit of panic.
Holidays also brings front and center, the burdens we bear, the hurts we share, and the “more-ness” and “other-ness” we all crave. Thank you for your promise of sufficient grace, and for your commitment to work in all things for our good.
Father, even though it’s not always fun, thank you for your relentless commitment to make the Gospel necessary, precious, and powerful to us—that is, to make Jesus true, good, and beautiful. No family, lover, or friend can fill the place reserved for Jesus in our hearts. How easily we forget.
So, for the next few days, help us adjust our expectations of mere people. Ignite our anticipation of your faithfulness and goodness. Free us to extend your welcome, love to your glory, and laugh with your joy. May your peace rule in our hearts so powerfully, we’ll be shocked at how kind, accepting, and compassionate we can actually be. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ merciful and mighty name.