Christmas and Family

I have heard it said that Christmas is about family.  

I know it is about so much more than family and friends but over the last two days, but other the last two days I have been reminded of the importance of family as it relates to Christology (the doctrine of Jesus Christ) and hamartiology (the doctrine of sin).

Jesus' genealogy shows us that he was born in the flesh. "God himself embodied the same frailty and helplessness that every single one of us did at birth" (Mathis).

The genealogy also shows us our sinfulness.  John MacArthur's "Knots in Christ's Family:  Untangling the Lord's LIneage" article reference to Matthew 1's genealogy as a "Chronicle of God's Grace."

Today, this Sam Allbery quote came up in my Facebook memories.  "Matthew's genealogy includes the outcast, scandalous, and foreigner.  The family Jesus comes from anticipates the family he came for."

And finally, I heard this beautiful song entitled "Christ," which contains the entire Matthew 1 genealogy. Don't let that description cause you not to listen.  The beautiful accompaniment starts very simply and as they draw nearer and nearer to Christ, the music becomes fuller and fuller.  Check out the video and other genealogy resources at


Dec 24 2020

The Day Heaven Kissed Earth

The eternal Word—the golden Son of heaven—humbly and willingly took up our comparatively lowly humanity, without ceasing to be God, and entered into the created realm, coming to earth as one of us.

The meaning of Christmas is not just that he was born among us, but that he came to die for us. He came to secure for us eternal saving benefits. But there’s more.

The deepest significance of Christmas isn’t just that Jesus came to save us, but that he is who he is. The great treasure isn’t what the magi brought but the one held in Mary’s arms. The surpassing value of Christmas isn’t finally knowing ourselves to be saved but knowing the Jesus who saves us.

Father in heaven, as the psalmist wrote, there is fullness of joy and pleasures evermore at your right hand—where now sits your Son. No one satisfies our soul like you, in the person of your Son. You made us for yourself. Give our souls rest this Christmas, and forever, in Jesus. In his name, we pray. Amen.

Quotes from Day 24 in The Christmas We Didn't Expect


Dec 23 2020

The Festivus Miracle

The best answer to the Christmas mess... is clarity about the true miracle of Christmas: that God himself, in the person of Jesus, took a true human body and a reasonable human soul (as the ancient creed puts it) so that, fully God and fully man, he might bring us humans from our mess to himself.

Father, with Christmas now just two days away, renew our focus. May this Christmas not be a lost opportunity. As we gather with friends and family, help us to make the most of this occasion by commending and celebrating your Son. He is the great gift of Christmas. Thank you, Father, that you gave your own Son to dwell among us and die for us. And that you raised him. There would be no salvation, and no true comfort and joy, apart from your living Son. In his name we pray. Amen.

Quotes from Day 23 in The Christmas We Didn't Expect


Dec 22 2020

 Swaddling God

[His swaddling cloths] are a mark of the commonness of his newborn humanity. God himself embodied the same frailty and helplessness that every single one of us did at birth.

“The arrival of the incarnated Son of God,” comments Bock, “is a study in contrast between how God did it and how we might have done it” (p 86). This indeed is the Christmas we didn’t expect. From the virgin conception, to the parents of lowly estate, to the little town, the undignified visitors, and now the manger, God does it like no human would have planned.

Father in heaven, what humility, what condescension your Son embraced to take our humanity! From the beginning, one humbling restriction after another formed and shaped his human life, as they do for ours. So, Father, here at Christmas, in remembering his infant binding, we also look to his adult binding at the cross, and we glory that he endured the chains and nails, and shed his grave cloths, for our sake. We are his, and he is ours. Draw us all the nearer to our Lord as we draw near the end of Advent and the arrival of Christmas Day. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Quotes from Day 22 in The Christmas We Didn't Expect


Dec 21 2020

 Loving Hard People At Christmas

When we enjoy God and his Son as our great possession, we are finally free to surrender our small, private enjoyments for the greater enjoyment of meeting the needs of others and pointing them to our treasure.

The call to look to the interests of others, to gladly spend and be spent, and to remember our better and abiding possession is not a call to give up true Christmas joy but the opposite—to truly taste the depths of delight that God himself came to bring.

Father, help us to forget self and embrace the greater joy that comes with self-sacrifice for the good of others. At Christmas, of all times, we need to remember that love “does not insist on its own way” (1 Corinthians 13:5). Fill us with satisfaction in your Son and your mercy, and make us instruments of your grace to others, especially those nearest to us who can be the hardest to love. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Quotes from Day 21 in The Christmas We Didn't Expect

HERE are other Advent posts


Dec 20 2020

Words Are the Greatest Gifts

When we stay quiet about what makes us happiest, we don’t preserve our happiness. Hearts don’t stay full by us keeping the lid on them. Our joy dwindles when we stay quiet. But when our joy inspires us to expend energy to express it in understandable words—which can be hard work—our joy actually ripens, deepens, expands, and “completes the enjoyment.” Giving ourselves to the effort it takes to carefully say it (or write it) both sweetens our delight and makes it more contagious. Others can share in it when they hear about it.

Even more valuable than anything we can wrap in paper is the joy we can capture in words, whether spoken or written, to help fill others with the sweetest delight a soul can taste: Jesus’ own fullness of joy.

Father in heaven, this Christmas make our words your means of joy. Keep us from souring the great occasion of Christmas with the lingering discontent in our souls. Grant instead that the joy in us, through Christ, would rise to the level of sweet, encouraging, upbuilding, hopeful words. Make our mouths to be foundations of contagious joy in Christ this Christmas. May Jesus be honored in our words, and may the hearts of our friends and family be enriched, rather than encumbered, by the things we say. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Quotes from Day 20 in The Christmas We Didn't Expect

HERE are other Advent posts