Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas to All!

Photo Courtesy of Kriss Szkurlatowski

Christmas...it's a time for family, remembering the birth of our Savior, and a bustle of activities and giving. As we near the blessed day, I anticipate visiting family members and friends, some of whom I haven't seen in a year or more. 
Family...I can't help but think of what family truly means as Christmastime approaches. I miss my mother, father, sister, brother, grandmother, step-son, nieces and nephews...well, you get the picture. My heart longs to be reunited with them. This Christmas, we are traveling north, taking a fifteen hour ride, to be "home" for Christmas. 
Joseph and Mary and the unborn child were a family before they ever left for Bethlehem. One must admire a man who would lay down his life, take to him a wife who was about to give birth to a child not belonging to him, and travel a great distance with them to be registered in his hometown. Joseph's obedience to the voice of the Lord allowed me to have something to celebrate each year...the birth of my King and the death of my Savior. 

Today, we find it easy to avoid unwanted pregnancies. We find it easy to put off spouses who no longer meet our needs or we find "imperfect." Family has taken on a new meaning, or so our society and culture proclaim. Marriage is obsolete, the headlines read. But God...

God has another plan. He called a man to leave his ideals behind and cleave unto a wife pregnant with the Son of God. He called a virgin girl to bear the Savior of the world. He called an infant in a lowly manger to be King of Kings and Lord of Lords, to bear the sins of the lost and dying as He gave His life for those who would only believe. 

Step-family. God has a plan for step-families, as well. Joseph had no biological connection to Jesus, yet he models God's love for all. He raises Jesus with care and concern. He protects Him from those who would try to take His life before the appointed time. Joseph raises Jesus as his own son, all the while knowing He didn't belong to him. As a step-mother, I admire God's concern for step-parents, shown in His own Son's birth. 

I love God's family plan. I love unity. I love togetherness. I love laying down one's life for those closest to me. 

This Christmas, I look forward to spending time with those I love and cherish. And we will celebrate God's plan for families. Will you?

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