We Are Safe, Loved, and At Home (December 2021 Newsletter Article)

As the weather turns colder, I love to get “cozy.” Sometimes that means a fire in the fireplace, or warm socks, or wrapping up in a blanket. My son and I love to snuggle together, him with his milk and me with some warm cider. It’s a feeling of being safe and loved… a feeling of home.

I feel that at SOTV, too. When we are together, we are safe, loved, and at home.

Advent is a lovely season for us to think about what home means and how Jesus came to dwell among us. Sometimes our Advent songs can feel warm and cozy, and other times we are reminded that Jesus is just outside the door, waiting for us to welcome him into the warmth of our hearts and homes.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer is one of the most well-known and beloved Lutheran theologians of the twentieth century. His legacy took on a deeper dimension when he was imprisoned and executed for participating in a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler. He wrote the following:

“As long as there are people, Christ will walk the earth as your neighbor, as the one through whom God calls you, speaks to you, makes demands on you. That is the great seriousness and great blessedness of the Advent message. Christ is standing at the door; he lives in the form of a human being among us. Do you want to close the door or open it?”

What a provocative image – Christ, standing at the door of our home, ready to be welcomed.

I wonder what that looks like for you this Advent season? How will we welcome Christ among us? Perhaps it looks like extending our table this holiday season to include someone new. Perhaps it looks like taking on a new service project to benefit a stranger. Perhaps it looks like resting in God’s promise of peace, hope, joy, and love in worship. We trust that God continues to come to us whether we recognize the holy invitation into welcome and celebrate Christ among us – or not.

SOTV has a number of opportunities for worship, fellowship, and service throughout this month of celebrating and welcoming. I do hope you page through our newsletter to read about all of our options. And as you discern how best to welcome Christ into your hearts and homes this season, may you trust in your own belovedness, knowing that God came to dwell among us to be a gift for YOU.

In Christ,
Pastor Lindsey Bina