Monday, December 16, 2019

16. But to all who received him...

What might it mean to “receive” Jesus? “Receiving lines” are a feature of formal occasions – weddings for example. They give a chance for every person to be welcomed by the hosts, for their presence to be noticed. But John means far more than a formality here, far more than a simple “so glad you could come…”. The Greek word John uses, “elabon”, means “to take to one’s self”. Receiving Jesus isn’t just about acknowledging Jesus’ existence, or even his importance to the world. It’s about allowing him to make a difference to us, letting him get involved in our lives, transforming us. Going back to the wedding analogy, it’s not so much about saying hello in passing to a guest, but about taking a new person into the family, gaining a son or a daughter who will change the whole family dynamics, bringing (hopefully!) new perspectives and new life.

Have you ever “received” someone into your life who you knew would change you forever – a spouse, a child, a partner, a friend? How have they changed you?
Have you ever been “received” into someone else’s life? What did it feel like to know you were now part of their lives for good?
Do you feel that way about Jesus? Does letting him be a part of your life make a difference to you, or does he feel like a distant acquaintance or a guest at a formal “do”?


Draw a picture of the people who you feel belong to you, and to whom you belong. Pray for each one as you draw them.

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