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Christmas: For Family Only?

What happens if Dec 25th falls on a Sunday? Well, it seems that in my part of North Carolina, most churches cancel services.

I was incredulous when I first heard the notion. Why? I asked. Because Christmas is a family thing, I was told.

Right. But who makes up your family? For at Christmas, we celebrate the birth of One who left home to form for His Father, a new family, one that would transcend bloodlines. In fact, while on earth, Jesus said, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” And stretching out His hand toward His disciples He said, “Here are My mother and My brothers. For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:48-50) Surely we celebrate His birth best when we gather with His family! If your blood family is Christian, wouldn’t it make greatest sense to gather with the rest of the household of God in worship? And if there are those who are unbelievers, wouldn’t your joyful desire to be with the rest of the family of God be an opportunity to talk about the true meaning of Christmas?

Christmas with the baby Jesus may seem a little too ‘cutesy’. But what are we to remember when we think of Jesus’ birth? At least three things:

1. You are to give Him the name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. (Mt 1:21)

That means you and I are sinners and need saving.

2. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; His kingdom will never end. (Luke 1:32-33)

Salvation means coming under the kingship of Jesus. A saved person wants to be ruled by God.

3. Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. (Mt 10:34)

Christmas signals the beginning of the great divide; between those who will bow the knee to Christ, and those who won’t.

So there is no bad time to celebrate Christmas. Anytime a person recognises he is a sinner and seeks God’s saving; anytime a person comes under the rule of God, no longer insisting on running his life his own way; every time a person crosses over to the right side, Christ’s side, of the great divide, we have Christmas, for with the angels we sing,

Glory to God in the highest and on earth,

Peace among those with whom He is pleased. - Luke 2:14 Have a merry Christmas.

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