I can hardly think of Christmas without thinking of Family! One thing about this time of year that sets it apart so well is the way we gather around with family. So many of my memories of Christmas past are as a child going to visit grandparents, as a young Mama packing my kids up and going to visit my parents and now the preparation of my own home waiting for my kids to come visit me.
I love that family is included in the Bible surrounding the birth of Jesus. Mary was a young girl who had just found out that she would give birth even though she had never known a man. She knew there would be scandal surrounding this pregnancy, but she didn’t turn to her girlfriends to talk this out. She knew that her cousin, Elizabeth was also about to give birth in a miraculous way and she needed her. Elizabeth was older and wiser so maybe she could impart some of her wisdom to Mary. In Luke it says “Mary arose and went with haste”! I think, she wanted the comfort and peace that being with a family member could bring so she hurried to go see her. And look at Elizabeth’s response.
“And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!’” Luke 1:41-42
Can you just imagine how that made her feel? All along the way Mary’s thoughts may have been ‘how will I explain this?’ ‘Will she believe me?’ ‘Maybe since she has a miraculous birth she will believe me and then maybe others will too!’ How accepted and wonderful Mary must have felt when those were the first words that Elizabeth spoke before Mary even had to utter a word about why she was there. Family can be like that, can’t they? They accept you with all of your stuff and your flaws no matter what. That’s just what families do!
I love that God included stories of family in the Bible. I love that family is such a big part of Christmas. Whether you gather around a table with your family or with trays around the Christmas tree. Stop and remember family. It was important enough for God to weave a story of family in the Christmas story in the Bible and it’s important enough for us to remember at Christmas and all year through! Make sure that when your family is together this Christmas you step back and breathe it in with a prayer of thanks for your family, the family of Christmas past, and the family of your Christmas present as well as the family of your Christmas future.
“The only gift I’ll ever need is the joy of family” ~ Pentatonix, That’s Christmas to Me