Monday, December 17, 2012

A FAMILY AFFAIR


LAST SUNDAY I TOOK AN INFORMAL SURVEY. I asked, “What aspect of Christmas do you enjoy the most?” The almost unanimous response was, “being with family.” Second highest response was eating holiday meals, which of course included being with family and friends around the holiday table.

It only makes sense that Christmas would be about family, since the event we celebrate as Christians revolves around a small family experiencing less than perfect conditions surrounding the birth of their first child. You know the story, no room in the inn, thus this unique birth takes place in a cattle stall. Cold, less than sanitary conditions, and removed from family and friends. A young couple becomes three, but not alone.

The child born to them is Emmanuel, God is with them. In a miraculous event the three in the barn are joined by the other members of the Three of eternity. Soon, the news of the birth of the long awaited Messiah is declared by heavenly host to lowly shepherds nestled among the hills of Bethlehem. The gathering in the lonely stall is now filled with awe, wonder and praise of the shepherds who responded to the angelic good news.

Family has always been part of God’s plan, even before the first family drew their first breaths in God’s Garden and family will remain God’s design even as we re-enter the Paradise of God at the culmination of all things.

This Advent season let’s ask the Lord to open our eyes to those around us who may need a family with which to celebrate and then let us open our hearts and homes and invite them in.

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