“He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:11-13) It is not every year that we have two Sundays in the season of Christmas, so it would be wise to avail ourselves to the lectionary. John 1 is full of riches (obviously!) and here I am focusing on verse 12 and more specifically, the word, power. Sometimes, the word is translated right. As in, we have the right to be called the children of God. Either way, it is crucial for us to understand that the Gospel does not name us as natural children; we are all adopted. That is, through the agency of our elder brother, Jesus, we are now full members of the family and therefore heirs to all the treasures and privileges that accompany such an adoption. God welcomes us as adopted daughters and sons if we are willing to receive the invitation. None of us naturally belongs at the Christmas table. But every last one of us is welcome! Every one of us has been issued an invitation by that baby in the manger who grows into the man hanging on the cross. So what does this mean? Do you ever doubt your welcome? Don’t! Jesus has invited you by name! Do you know anyone who doubts their welcome? Well, what would be a better way to honor yours than by announcing to them the Good News, the Gospel of their full welcome? 2020 has been a hard year for so many. Whom do you know who needs the reassurance of God’s great love? Whom do you know who needs to be told (for the first time, or the hundredth time) that Jesus is for them and not against them? What a joy, what a privilege of our adoption to carry this glorious message! Have a great week and Happy New Year!