“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.”
(Ephesians 1:13 NIV)
My knee jiggled nonstop under the exquisitely-decorated table. A friend leaned over and whispered, “Are you nervous?”
“I’m always nervous before a performance, even on Sunday mornings before the worship service,” I admitted.
An acquaintance sent me an email the month before and inquired, “Would you please provide a musical program for our women’s annual Christmas dinner?”
It was a double honor to be invited to attend this event at the Presbyterian Church and to present the gospel with music and a short story. My husband and I arrived early to set up my keyboard and observe as guests arrived, decked in festive garb.
Each of the fifteen tables was uniquely adorned to celebrate the coming of the Christ child. I coolly walked around the room and was filled with awe at the imaginative beauty before me as I visited briefly with each guest.
We have been invited into God’s kingdom as I was invited to this festive event. Paul tells us in his letter to the Ephesians we have been selected and marked with the seal of Christ’s Holy Spirit. Our life-long call is to include others in our lives, to widen our circles.
I recently read that one secret to a long, satisfying life is to accept invitations and spend time with people. Perhaps we should go one step further and invite others into our lives, especially when we are outsiders. Be a gracious innkeeper and fling open your doors to the baby Jesus.
I will make a special effort to widen my circle today. I hope you will, too! Merry Christmas!!
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