Advent Devotional - December 20

December 28, 2021

Mark 9:37

“Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”


This verse expands upon the meaning of family. Here, family not only includes those residing within our own household, but the world beyond. Jesus instructs us to welcome children with great respect, but the child here is also a symbol for anyone who is vulnerable, weak, or of lowly status.
Jesus connects himself to the child and himself to God, establishing a link between the child and God. By extension, the person who welcomes a child is also welcoming God.
The church has been greatly influenced by this passage. It has fed the hungry, housed the homeless, provided medical care for the sick, given clothing and shelter to the displaced, taught people to read and has met many other basic human needs. Recently, PHPC has made a concerted effort to expand this care to include refugees and immigrants.
As a church, we must be continually reminded of the call of Jesus to welcome the children. We are tempted to build churches in the suburbs and ignore the inner cities. We are tempted to minister to those like us and ignore those who are different. However, Jesus calls us to do something greater. We, as a church, can extend our family by choosing to be ambitious for others instead of ourselves.


Holy God, help us to welcome your children as family. Give us patience so we may hear their needs and respond with compassion. Amen.

About the Author

Melanie Sumrow is a current Elder on Session. She serves on Worship Council, where she is the co-chair for Table Guild, and acts as the Session liaison for Discipleship Council. Melanie has been on the Board of Trustees for the Preston Hollow Presbyterian School for the last six years and has served on the school's Executive Committee.

Today's Act of Kindness

Subtract one thing from your day today- and use the extra quiet time to pray for people who are vulnerable because of physical or mental illness.

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