Living as God’s own.
Did you not know I had to be in My Fatherâ€™s house.
Welcome and thank you for joining us this Sunday as we testify to our faith in our Lord and Savior, join in fellowship in His Holy Name, and celebrate the entire family of faith which is all of us who dwell in the Kingdom.
As I have occasionally commented, our Church takes this time, about mid-October, to transport us into the Christmas season as we consider the childhood of Jesus and His life within the Holy Family; as we consider our lives within the family of faith, the Kingdom of God.
It seems sort of funny, our Church was ahead of the current day Christmas rush as far back as 1914 when this Solemnity was established at Holy Synod.
On this occasion, with its focus on family and a kind-of Christmassy theme we may feel transported back to our own childhoods, the lives of our children and grandchildren, especially in their earliest years, our families, the love, events, and even trials we have shared. Family â€“ and the idea of Christmas â€“ we connect with all that, and that is good. For most people it is the place good is first felt.
Considering all that we experience and share in our own families, how do we feel, what do we think, when we consider, hear about, and ponder the family of God, the Holy Church, the Christian Family?
We could consider a gamut of thoughts and feelings. Just as in any family, there will be those who say all things must change, those who say we need improvements, those who say nothing must ever change. There is a whole range of opinions from one end to the other. However, lets step away from all that and consider something completely different â€“ our Lordâ€™s words: Did you not know I had to be in My Fatherâ€™s house.
Jesusâ€™ incarnation, birth, and young life in the family ushered in the very thing He preached. It was the message He was meant to bring: The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, believe.
In ushering in the Kingdom, in drawing us into one family, Jesus seeks an essential change in us, His Kingdom dwellers and workers. We are called to now focus our priorities and lives on the new reality, the Kingdom reality. We are now to live as Godâ€™s own family with the Father at the head and Jesus as our brother, united in the Spirit.
In our new reality, the strictures and structures of family have vastly expanded. Relationship has evolved. We have become a new people, reborn, regenerated, and connected one to another. Being there, we have cause to proclaim: Did you not know I had to be in My Fatherâ€™s house. Saying so, and truly living as a family, we join in carrying out our responsibilities in our Kingdom work of evangelism, fellowship, and worship. We rejoice as family, as Godâ€™s very own.