Christmas is a time of homecoming for many. We gather with friends and family, we pile in our vehicles and shove all the presents in the back with the dog and off we go to see those who matter most. Although Christmas is a time when we usually have the opportunity to see extended family, the most special times for me are those with the immediate family, watching the kids open up gifts, making Christmas cookies, watching Elf and Christmas Vacation…10 or more times each! And every Christmas Eve, we pick a time to sit around the Christmas Tree as I read the story of Christ’s birth as recored in Luke Chapter 2. Although this is the classic account of this eternity-changing event, Christ’s birth is actually referred to in many other places in Scripture.
In Galatians chapter 4, Paul wrote the following reminder to us all:
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. (Galatians 4:4-7 ESV)
Because God refused to let us remain in a hopeless, sinful existence with no possibility for escape, He did what only He could do; God gave His Son so that we all could become His Sons. Many people misunderstand this passage and some are even offended thinking God favors sons over daughters, but that misses the meaning completely. In the day and age when these words were originally penned, first born sons received the largest inheritance from their father. When Jesus came, died, and rose again to ransom us from ourselves, He gave each of the opportunity to become not only His children, but to receive the inheritance of sons…the greatest and best He has to give!
Paul later reminded the Ephesians of this truth:
“…In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” (Ephesians 1:4-10 ESV)
As 2014 winds down to a close, I thank God that He sent His Son, who was born in a manger, nailed to a cross, and rose from the dead so that I could become His son. Jesus submitted Himself to the Father and yielded himself to a trough, a tree, and a tomb so that we could receive the greatest gift possible…a homecoming of heavenly proportion. Please know that Christ was, is, and will always be the greatest gift you can ever receive. I pray that you truly realize what it means to come home and receive the inheritance of a son this Christmas.