Christmas = Family Drama

I love my family. They each are so unique and have so much to offer the world and enrich my life so much. I love laughing and talking with my family and hearing what they have to say. I am realizing more and more that although we are all SO very different each member of my family has their own strengths and gifts and beauty and I love that.

Your family is always there for you, your family rallies around you when you need them, they support you….and sometimes they force you to come face to face with your sin and call you out on it. They know you better than most people and they see you not only at your best but also at your worst. Hopefully they love you through it all. Sometimes they also hurt you more than other people…because they can, because you care more deeply about them and about your relationship with them then you do with other people.

I think all the best and the worst about being family comes out at Christmas.

I bet that first Christmas had a little bit of that family drama too. Someone pointed out to me recently that Joseph must have had other family members going up to Bethlehem as well…and none of them offered him and his new wife (“illegitimately” pregnant as she was) a place to stay. I had never thought of it that way before. It wasn’t just that the inns had no room… his own family had no room. Talk about family drama. But, in the end a stranger stepped up and gave the young couple a place to stay.

I can imagine that Mary and Joseph had a bit of their own family drama as well…it’s not hard to believe that they might have fought a little, being tired and in labor and not being able to find a place to stay, but I can imagine that in the end they rallied together to share in the miraculous birth of their baby.

I think for most people being with family on Christmas comes with its ups and its downs. Interestingly, the ups with family are better than ups could be with any other group of people and the downs with family are probably worse than they would be with most people. Family just has that way of making you feel happier and more comfortable than anyone else could and also hurting you more than others could.

But, Christ’s coming to the world has a profound influence on all of our family standings…we at last get the opportunity to become children of God. We become part of God’s family…the church. And like our own families the church can sometimes hurt us and call us out on our sin, but it can also rally around us and support us and give us the strength we need to face our struggles and the love we need to overcome them.

May this Christmas be filled with the good side of family for all of you, with the type of family drama that brings healing and health and not the type that tears down and harms. And may this Christmas be filled with the church being the good side of family for you as well – showing love and support and care. May we act as sister, brother, mother, and father to those around us who need our familial love this Christmas.

Rejoicing in the season - Beth Stedman