Through the tender mercy of our God,
With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us;
To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
To guide our feet into the way of peace.”(Luke 1:78-79)
And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.
Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. (Luke 2:1-5)
Reconciliation, a word often heard in news items, in the courts, or social services, and means so much, but often leads to very little. Can people really reconcile their differences, maybe sometimes, but could they do it to the point of recognising each other as their nearest family? And what about the aggrieved parents of a rebellious child, who some how needs to reach out to clasp the hand of a child who does not want them, having pursued the life of self obsession and despair, or anger?
And yet, here at Christmas we are given insight to the greatest gift of reconciliation ever. God the Father, despite many efforts to reach His children through sending messengers time after time to his estranged off spring, and many who don’t know Him, shows that amazing grace through the sending of His son wrapped in the form of a babe to join us to Him. Adopting us all who believe in this child, or maybe even readopting the people of Israel. This is the way of peace for us, through Christ to the Father.
For, really, Christmas is about family.
that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:19)
But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. (1 Corinthians 6:17)
“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. (John 17:20-23)
Family, the name of the main game in the ultimate plan of God. In His wisdom the secret weapon to restore it was the sending of a babe, one in whose supernatural birth created a loving family on earth. But, even much more started the earthly path of restoring God’s family through the sacrificial journey that Child would make for His Heavenly Father. At Christmas we remember God’s desire for family, and that He joined us to this divine gathering.
When God means family, it is more than perhaps many of can really relate to, as it goes way beyond the sort that meets once a year around the Christmas table, or perhaps even monthly at the BBQ. It looks like oneness, not of co-dependency, but out of a deep love for each other, that prefers the other, sees their needs as ours, and is the type of heart to heart connection only really found in the heavenly realm.
And yet, that is His desire for us, to experience this family, and by His Spirit, by joining us to Christ, God enables this journey to begin. He even gives us His love to be that special ingredient that makes it all happen…with time, prayer, and sacrifice, with God snack bang in the middle. May this miracle be ours this Christmas.
Ultimately, that is why Christ is coming back, to complete this work.