Friday, December 7, 2012


Today is the sixth day of Advent.  Our word for today is "family."

Luke 2:4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

Notice, the phrase, " and lineage of David..."  This precious, historical event of the coming of the Christ was a family affair.

As Marie and I traveled yesterday she mentioned an interesting fact that she had noted in some of her reading.  Matthew in his Gospel seems to make a special effort in his listing of the lineage of Christ to make reference to certain women.  There was Thamar, Rachab, Ruth,  one who had been  the wife of Urias (Bathsheba). 

Thamar assumed the part of a prostitute. Rachad was a harlot in Jericho, Ruth was a Moabitess, and Bathsheba was an adulterer.  Yet all of these were part of Israel's (Jacob's) family that resulted in the birth of the Christ Child.  The family of Israel was far from perfect, even among the men, yet we have the Christ of God being born into this family.  Christ came to identify and redeem folks without regard to their ethnicity, their gender or their moral background.  Such was the family of Israel.

Joseph, Mary and Jesus were a family.  Mary was perceived to have been unfaithful to Joseph during their betrothal.  Joseph was perceived to have been blind to her actions.  But behind it all the reality trumped the perception.  It was God who used a human family to bring into the world a Savior who could identify with the most humble and lowliest of all of us.

Christmas is a family event.  It involved the family of Israel, the family of Joseph, Mary and Jesus, and now families all over the world.  And because of the coming of a Savior we all can become part of the family of God.  We are sinners.  The Scripture declares that even while we were sinners Christ died for us.  Christ came to seek and save that which was lost.  By the way, the traditional family is under attack today.  Yet is was the first institution of God, and is the glue that holds civilization together.

As you get together as families this Christmas would you celebrate the Christ who came from a family to a family and for the human family to make our families and each of us as individuals part of the family of God.


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