6th February 2022

Greeted with open arms

Let me walk you through a common experience I’m sure you can relate to. Just nod when you know what I’m talking about.

You have been away from home all day. Maybe you were working long hours at the office or had a full day at school. Or maybe you are returning from a long trip out of town. You gather your things and walk up to the door. Your hands are full. Maybe you are carrying grocery bags in each arm, or perhaps both hands are grasping school books or luggage. When you are greeted at the door by someone who loves you. Maybe it’s your wife or husband or a parent or a friend. They are smiling with joy to see you and greet you with arms open wide to give you a big hug.

Does this experience sound familiar to you? Or maybe something similar?

As wonderful as it is to be reunited with your loved one, this moment creates a dilemma. The only way to receive that hug is to put away everything you have in your arms.

How we handle this dilemma may tell us something about the relationship. Some may see the hug as an unwelcome hindrance and just walk by. Others may try to negotiate a better time by awkwardly walking around trying to take care of their stuff first. Then there are those who will try to hold on to their baggage while being hugged at the same time. If you have ever done that you know you have settled for the person hugging your baggage instead of you.

But then there are those who drop their bags immediately at the feet of their beloved in order to receive a full embrace.

In a similar way, we could use this to mirror our relationship to our heavenly Father. He greets us in Jesus Christ with arms wide open, calling us his beloved and offering us his embrace. How often do we have our hands full of all kinds of baggage that we believe we need to hold on to? But there’s the good news: as we come to know God as the one who truly loves us and is for us, we begin to relax our grip on everything that prevents us from receiving his embrace.

The Apostle James tells us that we cannot receive what God has for us without putting away our ‘baggage’: 

Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21 ESV).

If you are feeling homesick and burdened by the baggage that’s weighing you down, if you need to feel that loving embrace, hear God’s word to you today. You are his beloved made to be wrapped up in his embrace. He stands before you in Jesus Christ with arms wide open. Step right into that embrace and feel the love he wants to give you.

Study by Heber Ticas


About the presenter:
The Word of Life each Sunday is taken from ‘Speaking of Life’,  (https://www.gci.org/videos/media-speaking-of-life/),

a public resource video on the USA website of Grace Communion International. 

Heber Ticas is an elder in Grace Communion International and 

is the Superintendent of the churches in Latin America. 

He also serves as the National Coordinator for Church Multiplication

in the United States.

Local congregation:
You are welcome to attend one of our local church congregations located

throughout the UK and Ireland.  For details of your nearest local congregation,

check on our website, www.gracecom.church under the ‘Churches’ tab,

or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Word of Life contact: