We are just past mid-November as I write this, but we’re already anticipating Christmas.  The season is filled with so much isn’t it?  We are blessed to have the luxury of celebrating the generosity of God in giving His one and only Son for us!

This year we get to experience the wonder of a new baby in our family -  Finlee who was born in August.  She will be just over 4 months old when Christmas arrives.  She won’t remember a thing, but we will.  I wonder if it was like that for Mary, Joseph, and Jesus.  Babies have an amazing ability to make us focus on them without them doing a thing.  We sit and stare.  We talk.  We coo.  We hold them, change them, feed them, and then we sit and stare some more.  I can’t believe that Lexi, our older granddaughter is almost 8.  I still remember her as a baby and the connection that I had the privilege to experience.  I got to hold her soon after she entered this world.  I don’t hold babies as a rule, but I couldn’t wait to hold her.  She was, and is, special just like her new little sister Finlee.  And though neither one will remember their Papa holding them, I always will.  It’s a precious privilege that God has given us!

Birth is a miracle in itself.  God chose to allow His only Son to come into this world the same way you and I come into it.  He put us in families to love, nourish, teach, and protect us, and to provide our basic and most needed life experiences.  The family as a structure can encourage and inspire a person to be and do things he or she may not think possible.  Jesus began life humbly, but with hand crafted parents created by the master craftsman.  God gave Him a family just as He gives us.

I know that families are not perfect, but they have the potential to reflect love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  They can build a person up and give him an environment of calm no matter how stormy life can be.  The family can be a place of unconditional love and radical generosity.

This newborn baby, who was born in a humble stable, would change the world, and He began His life here on earth being raised in a family.  That is amazing and should inspire us all to see how much we can love those God has entrusted to us.  The widows and orphans, the sick and homeless, the lame and imprisoned all have a place to call home when we live up to the potential God has given us.  So this Christmas let’s focus on what we have in Christ Jesus and the special family to which He has called us!

Merry Christmas!  God is good, all the time!  And all the time, God is good!

“Simeon was there.  He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying, “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised.  I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people.  He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!”  Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was being said about him.  Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, and many others to rise.  He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him.  As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.  And a sword will pierce your very soul.”  Luke 1: 28-35

In Christ’s Love,

Rob, Romans 12