Day 2: The Christ of Christmas
“He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:11-12, ESV).
For many people, family is one of the most important things in life. And it’s often true that we spend more time with our families during the Christmas season, which causes us to reflect on what a truly incredible blessing family is. After all, not everyone has that gift, and it is something we should never take for granted.
But does the concept of “family” have any special meaning in regard to Christmas? We’ve already looked at whether or not Christmas is about traditions. It’s clear, once we understand the true meaning of Christmas, that it isn’t—Christmas means far more.
However, our families are a little more important than traditions, so it’s only fair to wonder if we should give family higher precedence. Maybe family really is a part of what Christmas is about.
God certainly values family, so much so that He intentionally designed it and gave many instructions throughout the whole Bible on how a family should function. But if we know that Christmas is about the birth of Jesus and what He came into this world to do, then where does family fit in?
For one thing, we celebrate the birth of Jesus with our families. But more than that, our families are a reminder to us of a more important family: the family of God.
Do you remember the reason for Jesus’ birth? It was so He could go to the cross to die for our sins. His death took place so He could save us from the consequence of our sins, and it accomplished many things as a part of that, one of which was making us a part of God’s family.
The Bible tells us about this in Paul’s letter to the church in Galatia. He wrote: “When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5, ESV). That means that God chose the perfect time for Jesus to come, and when He came, He met us exactly as we are: sinners who have broken God’s law.
Remember, as the Son of God, Jesus didn’t have any sin. He became a man so He could take our sins on Himself; that’s why Paul referred to Him as being “born of a woman.” So Jesus, the only sinless man to ever live, took our sins and died for them. In doing so, He redeemed us to God; He restored the relationship that was broken, and made us able to become a part of God’s family.
When we understand what Jesus did for us, and trust that it really was done for us, God adopts us into His family. Another writer named John explained that very thing by saying that when Jesus came to His own people, they did not receive Him, but “to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become the children of God” (John 1:11-12, ESV). And that is how we become a part of the best family—God’s family. I love what John later wrote in a letter to Christians…
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God!” And that is what we are! (1 John 3:1, NIV).
Being in God’s family not only means that we are loved and accepted, but also that we are a part of that family forever. No matter what our family is like on earth, or if we even have one, when we trust what Jesus did for us, we become a part of His family now and forever. And after we die, we’ll finally be able to be with our Father and our Savior in heaven.
So really, there is no better family to be a part of than God’s family. And there is no better reason to celebrate the birth of Jesus than this: He died for us to make us a part of that family. So let’s celebrate this Christmas season with our families, as they really do make it more special. But more than that, let’s allow them to remind us of the eternal family we can be brought into because Jesus came.