Pause

“What difference does it make?” Ever ask yourself that question?

Take a moment now and consider the difference it makes that Emmanuel, God with us, is in the world and in your life.

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Listen

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.

Galatians 4:4-7

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Think

Hey! Put those dishes in the dishwasher! It’s a rule in our house, and everyone is expected to follow it. Whether you live here or not, after dinner everyone helps to clear the table. I’m Dad to a couple of great teenagers, and they frequently bring friends over for dinner. What I’ve noticed is that a lot of our repeat dinner guests don’t seem to mind this task. In fact, they act like they enjoy it! After dinner we all take different jobs, scraping plates, rinsing, loading, all chatting and laughing while we “follow the rule.” Why? I’m convinced it’s because they’ve gone from feeling like guests to feeling like family.

That’s what Paul is getting at. Because of Jesus, born as one of us but redeemer of all of us, we’re freed from the burden of religious law. Should we still “follow the rules?” Of course! But now we do it joyfully because we aren’t just rule followers. We’re family. Hey, sister! Help me with the dishes!

Bill Buchanan

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Pray

God, thank you for making me part of the family. Guide me as I seek to joyfully live the life you intend. Amen.

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Go

Go now into the rest of your day, knowing that God is out there doing amazing things.

Go now, rejoicing that you get to be a part of it!

Bill Buchanan

Bill Buchanan is an ordained pastor, Christian educator, and the Executive Director of Asheville Youth Mission and Raleigh Youth Mission. He lives in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina and loves being a dad to his two teenage kids.

Advent Waiting: Away in a Manger/O Come, All Ye Faithful

David Burroughs

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