But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God. [NRSV]
The Season of Christmas, 12 Days of Gifts
I have no idea why retail industry has not fully adopted the 12 days of gift giving. Christmas Day is but the first day of a 12 day season. I think we need to help extend the celebration. Don’t You?
When you think of Christmas, part of our celebration is gifts, trees with lights, decorations and music, are all part, but the one thing that sets a holiday apart is food. Food implies sharing at a common table the fellowship of those we share all holidays: Valentine chocolates, Easter eggs, 4th of July grilling, Halloween candy and Thanksgiving turkey all are essential elements of the holiday. If you had to pick a flavor of pie for Christmas what would you pick?
Apple, Pumpkin, Cherry, Sweet potato, pecan, chocolate custard, Key Lime, Peach, minced meat, (who said minced meat, take them out of the room right now and feed them some rhubarb pie and send them by to New England.) Here is a one reported list: http://www.livescience.com/33111-favorite-pie-america.html
Apple 47% 16%
pumpkin 37% 12%
Chocolate Creme 32% 11%
Cherry 27% 9%
Apple Crumb 25% 8%
Pecan 24% 8%
Lemon Meringue 24% 8%
Blueberry 21% 7%
Key Lime 18% 6%
Peach 16% 5%
All others 10%
What ever flavor you choose. You in good company if you choose some type of pie for Christmas.
In a way, the Christmas Story is God’s way of inviting us to be part of God’s heart and family.
God asks us “Do you wanna a piece of pie?”
What does a baby born so long ago have anything to do the pie we eat today?
Because of that baby, you and I have a piece of pie for Christmas.
I date myself remembering the sitcom, The Jeffersons, who’s theme song celebrated a successful black/African-American business man and his family and their their upward social and economic mobility in the city.
- Well we’re movin on up, to the east side. to a deluxe apartment in the sky. Movin on up, To the east side. We finally got a piece of the pie.
- Fish don’t fry in the kitchen; Beans don’t burn on the grill. Took a whole lotta tryin’ Just to get up that hill. Now we’re up in the big leagues, Gettin’ our turn at bat. As long as we live, it’s you and me baby, There ain’t nothin wrong with that.
We have a piece of the pie because of that baby born in Bethlehem.
We are no longer servants and slaves; we are children of God. Jesus is our brother.
And if Jesus is our brother then we have a sharing in the inheritance from the Father.
Because of Jesus We have moved up..
How are we related? Adoption
While It does explain why we don’t look like Mary or Joseph sides of the family.
I don’t remember any interviews or paper work about adoption into Jesus family.
God Chooses Us..
God Sends us a brother that will show us the way home.
God chooses us before we were born. This is the good news of Christmas!
This is the gift. This is the Christmas Gift, Paul shares with the church in Galatia, and with us all.
Gal 3.25-29 But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise [covenant]. [NRSV]
As we draw close the end of the year, we do beginning to reaffirm that we are part of God’s family.
Tell you neighbors, (pref not your bio family members) you are my brother/sister.
This is how we celebrate the brother that makes us one heart, one family, one people.
Not based on our faithfulness, rather because God is faithful
Not based on our love nor loveliness, rather because God first loves us.
Not based on holidays and traditions but is celebrated because God’s desire is that we are part of God’s tradition.
- Merry Christmas.
- Merry Christ is our Brother
- Merry Christ connects us.
This is who we are and who we invite others to believe.
Christmas is one of our greatest evangelistic stories: God loves us so much, God wants us to be family.