by Christina Rose
“ Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger.” Luke 2:13-16 NLT
The story of Jesus’ life begins with his birth into a family chosen by God who would help him fulfill his destiny of salvation for the world. The foundation of the family unit is an important concept in the Bible. Almost every major person in the Bible is introduced in relation to their families and genealogy before telling their story. Throughout Jesus’ life we see how his family and disciples, who he considered his family, were essential in helping him fulfill his destiny. God loves families and carefully knits them together to accomplish his perfect plan. “We love each other because he loved us first” (1 John 4:19 NLT).
The Bible is filled with stories and miracles that are centered around families. When God saved Noah from the flood, he also saved his wife, his sons and his sons’ wives. When God asked Abraham to leave his native land, his family went with him. Even though Joseph was thrown into a pit by his brothers, he forgave them and the family was restored. Even though Ruth was widowed, she refused to leave her mother-in-law who she considered to be her family. Queen Esther and her Uncle Mordecai worked together to help save their people. These are just a few of the many stories where family bonds of love empowered people to do God’s bidding.
Our first baby was born just a few weeks before Christmas. We decorated our cozy little home with a tree and all the trimmings, but they were soon forgotten with the arrival of our beautiful new daughter. We were in awe of her perfection, from her 10 tiny fingers and toes to her big blue eyes, soft baby skin, and gentle coos.
As I held her that first Christmas morning, wondering who she would become, I thought of Mary in the Manger holding and admiring her precious new baby, Jesus. As the angel Gabriel had told her that her holy Child would be called the Son of God, I can only imagine the wonder she must have felt at what lay ahead of them.
“They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.” (Luke 2:16-20 NLT)
Just two years later our second baby was born, just a few days after Christmas. After tucking my toddler into bed on Christmas Eve, I settled into wrapping the remaining gifts. I was weary and worn out after months of carrying a big baby in my tiny body. Once again, I thought of Mary, who was very pregnant, riding a donkey at night as they searched for a place to give birth. That had to have been an extremely uncomfortable journey—in light of how advanced her pregnancy was. How did she do it? And what would she have done without Joseph?
God has a heart for creating families, and through sharing His son Jesus with us, He calls us to become a part of His family. This season, take time to appreciate how your family is just a foreshadow of what lies ahead for the family of God.
He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will…we have obtained an inheritance…you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance… Ephesians 1:5, 11, 13-14 NASB
About the author: Christina Rose is an author, trainer and speaker certified by the John Maxwell Team of Leadership. She is a DAR (Daughter of the American Revolution) whose ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War. A devoted mom of two daughters and great aunt to over 40 nieces and nephews, Christina loves spending time in nature and hosting gatherings for family and friends.
Christina’s book, My Appeal to Heaven, is her story. Her marriage in shambles, Christina finds herself in a desperate situation with no resources other than herself. After appealing to heaven, the Lord takes her on a journey of awakening and miraculous empowerment. That power that is available to us all, especially those who are in need of hope and freedom.
Join the conversation: What impact has your family had on you? How has God used them in your life?