We’ll All Be Home for Christmas – by Greg Albrecht
Friends and Partner Letter for December 2021
1–Greg, your brother in Christ, to my dear Friends and Partners in the gospel, who are scattered all over this world (with apologies to the Apostle Paul as I borrow the style and content of his epistles, and with thanksgiving for the 1611 Authorized King James version, some of whose terminology and language I adopt and excerpt in this letter).
2–Grace be to you, and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3–Blessed be God, who has saved us by his grace, through his Son, who came to us, becoming one of us, as the one and only God in the flesh, and that he might self-sacrificially give himself so that we might eventually and eternally be at home with God.
4–God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, has blessed us with spiritual blessings so that we now sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, with the assurances that we will all be home now and forever, at Christmas and at all times.
5–I pray for you to the God of comfort, who comforts us all in all our tribulations and trials, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherein we ourselves are comforted of God. Through the faith, hope and eternal assurance of God we pray for you always.
6–Giving thanks to the Father, who hath made us partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light, for he has delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.
7–My dear friends in Christ, by his grace and the power of his consummate love, God will bring us all home for Christmas. Of course, we are already at home with the Lord now, in our mortal flesh, for we are his children. We now sit with him at his table.
8–We are now a part of his kingdom and we now have eternal life, through the risen Son who lives within us. But we also look forward and eagerly anticipate our Grand Homecoming when we shall be made immortal and this flesh, with its decay and mortality, will no longer have any power over us.
9–We are now at home with the Lord, saved and rescued from this present evil world by the inexhaustible love of God, most powerfully made known to us by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
10–In the incarnation, the human birth of God the Son, we see the fullness of God. We see God, whom no one can see of themselves, in, by and through Jesus, who is the express image of the Father and the brightness of his glory.
11–In the days of Caesar Augustus the Father spoke to us through his Son, the Eternal Word of God. The Word was in the beginning, he was with the Father in the beginning and the Word was God. All things were made by him. Nothing at all, things seen or things not seen, was created apart from the Word, the Son of God, the one who became known to us as Jesus Christ.
12–The incarnate God, the visible God in the flesh, became known to us and lived among us, as he still does, that he might reveal the fullness of the Father to the entire world.
13-Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise. It was during the time of Caesar Augustus when Mary was betrothed to Joseph, her husband-to-be. The angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her that she was blessed among all women, she had found favor with God and would conceive a son, and call his name Jesus.
14–Mary was a virgin and understandably shocked because she had never known a man. The angel Gabriel comforted her, telling her that nothing is impossible with God.
15–God the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary, so that she conceived the incarnate Son of God, God in the flesh, whose name was Jesus. Jesus was and still is God with us, saving and rescuing us, living within all those who embrace the mercy, grace, forgiveness and love he offers.
16–Thus the Eternal Word of God, God the Son, the second divine Person of the Triune God, became flesh through Mary, the Virgin Mary. It is in the incarnation of God, in and through Jesus Christ, that the Father revealed himself and his great love to all mankind.
17–In the incarnation the Father made known the fullness of his love. God the Son, Jesus Christ, has come for us, that in him we might live, die and live forever. Christ has come for us that we can go home with him. This is the story of Christmas. This is the glory of the incarnation!
18–In this wonderful story of Christmas, everyone comes home. All are invited to the Father’s house to celebrate his Son and live forever and ever in his all surpassing love and grace.
19–We are, as God’s dear children, living in and through our risen Lord, united together with Jesus, our Lord and Savior. The world in which we live is only a world in which we are passing through. We are pilgrims and sojourners in this present evil world. We are on our way to our eternal home.
20–In this world we follow Jesus, he is our Light, he is our Master, our Friend, our Servant and our Savior. He is the image of the invisible God, the Good Shepherd who lovingly guides us, the Living Water who quenches our thirst and our Bread of life. Having been filled with the Living Water and having eaten of the Bread of life, we shall never spiritually thirst of hunger again.
22–As the Apostle Paul quoted a well-known poet to the Athenians (Acts 17:28) so too I encourage you with the observation of J.R.R. Tolkien in the well-known 20th century trilogy “Lord of the Rings”:
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by frost.
23–We long for the heavenly city whose builder and maker is God. We long to be forever home in and with him. While we wander in this world, we are not sidetracked by the glitter of our world’s gold. While we wander in this world, and as we age, we know that God empowers us so that even in our old age we will not wither because his deep and divine roots in us are never reached by frost. Though we wander, by God’s grace, we are not lost! We have the sure hope of our heavenly home.
24–We walk by faith, not by sight. Our faith is given and produced by God. Faith visualizes and looks forward to hope. Our hope in Christ is grounded in our belief that our Lord and Savior has gone to prepare a place in the Father’s house for us. We believe out of our hope, a gift of God, and e see beyond the physical horizon by the faith he lives within us, by his grace.
25–We will be home for Christmas, not because, as that popular song says, “you can count on me.” No, my friends, we will be home for Christmas because of the grace of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We will be home for Christmas because he has promised to take us to be with him where he is and we know he is faithful, because he lives in us now and forever. We can count on him!
27–My friends, my brothers and sisters, our hope and our faith are sure! Our hope is not pie- in-the-sky wishful thinking. We are assured by God that we are both now home with him and will be, one day, in the ultimate sense, in our own resurrection to immortality, in his home forever and ever. There is no “if only” about the sure promises of God. Our faith is not a silly dream, it is more real than any reality.
28–I thank God always for you, and your generosity, toward those you know and serve and toward the ongoing worldwide ministry of PTM through whom you serve others in the name of Jesus Christ,
29–In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit—Jesus Christ is born. Jesus Christ is risen. Jesus Christ is, by God’s grace, ours, and we are his.
Merry Christmas to one and all,