I wanted to tell Jerry the trees in his backyard Christmas tree farm are too neat. Too many straight edges. They don’t look real. Everybody knows real, living things feel a little ragged and unpredictable. Which should encourage those of us in ragged, unpredictable families; we’re part of something real and alive.
When God does big things, he starts with family
And it starts at the top, at the core of God himself: God says he is the father and Jesus is his son. They have a FAMILY relationship.
Then God created a nation to bring his son the savior into the world. That nation started with the FAMILY of Abraham and Jacob.
God made a promise to that nation. When he fulfilled the promise to the nation that started with a family, he started again with another family. The son of God was born into a FAMILY, with a mom and a dad, brothers and sisters.
So your family is part of something that’s a big deal to God. Family is his idea; he loves it; he delights in it; he uses it. You’re part of an institution created for glory.
When God does big things, he starts small and grows it
The work Jesus came to do would be done by the adult Jesus. Why start with a baby? Why take thirty years to get him to adulthood? Isn’t that a waste of time? Isn’t it risky? Why put him on the same path as every human ever born? Shouldn’t he be an exception? Why choose the slow way for such an important mission?
God must take great pleasure in patience.
Are your expectations for change and growth in your family more aggressive than God’s? Is what you see small and baby-sized and far from adult-hood? Are you in a bigger hurry for family progress than God was for mankind’s redemption?
When God does big things, he uses unimposing common leftovers
Jesus entered earth at a place where animals were born and fed. Do you think one of the first things he smelled was straw and dung? Straw is what’s left when the good stuff’s taken out, and dung is too. Can you have a more unimposing, common beginning than that?
Your family’s problems, issues, and limitations may stink, but probably not more than the stink in that stable. And Jesus was put there on purpose.
So if you’re in a family, but the progress of your family hopes and dreams feels stagnant, and you don’t see how you can get past all this junkie stuff; you’re in good company. That’s how God saved the world.
What’s slow and stinky – and ripe for the hope of Christmas – in your family right now?