December 22, 2019 :: Welcome

December 22, 2019, By: Crossroads Church

Advent is the four weeks leading up to Christmas that are traditionally set aside for preparation and anticipation of Christ’s birth. This Advent season, Crossroads is embarking on a Framily ADVENTure. Each week, we will post a devotional, a special activity, connection questions, playlist, and daily readings to help you seek God and focus your attention on the Christ Child during this busy time of year. Grab your friends, your family or whoever makes up your Framily, and use this page as a resource for your own Framily ADVENTure.

After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands. And they were shouting with a great roar,

“Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne
and from the Lamb!”

Revelation 7:9-10

DEVOTIONAL: Everybody. Always.

When you come across a traditional nativity scene, what do you see? A mother, father, and baby, some hay and a few animals, probably some shepherds and an angel, definitely a stable and a star, maybe some men bearing gifts. Chances are, we’ve grown accustomed to this traditional depiction of Jesus’ birth. But look again: Do you see the disgraced teenager, pregnant outside of marriage? Do you see the ragtag shepherds, living on the gritty edges of society? Do you see the wealthy astrologers from a completely foreign culture and belief system? When God chose to send Jesus to the earth, he came as a helpless infant, and the main players in the story were the marginalized, the outcast, the Other.

The story of the nativity is just one piece of the greater Story of God: this story starts with God bringing light out of darkness and leads to God putting everything right, once and for all, in all creation. The writer of Revelation paints a beautiful picture of how this reality might begin: people of every tribe, color, ethnicity, class, status, and background coming together to worship God—no division, no strife.

The nativity is a snapshot of God’s ultimate design of welcome. We get glimpses and tastes of this in our homes, our churches, our communities and schools. Any place we come together in shalom, God’s wholistic peace, we mirror this ultimate reality. The story of God is for Everybody. Always.

CONNECTION QUESTIONS:

  1. Where in your life do you experience diversity in community?
  2. How can you invite and welcome someone new into the circles where you live, work, play, and worship?

ADVENTure ACTIVITY: Being PRESENT is one of the best gifts.

This week, lean into hospitality and find a new way to welcome someone in your life. You could invite a new friend over for dinner, grab a cup of coffee with (and for) someone else, or organize a trip to a Christmas lights display. Look outside your regular social circles to forge a new relationship—spend time with someone who needs extra joy, love, and people for the holiday season.

SONGS:

1. Let Us Adore (Elevation Worship)
2. Some Children See Him (Jill Phillips & Andy Gullahorn)


DAILY READINGS:

Matthew 2:1-12
Micah 6:6-8
Romans 12:3-13
John 3:16-21
1 Corinthians 12:12-31