advent devotional day 6, we are family

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea,
to Bethlehem the town of David, because He belonged to the house and line of David.

Family.  It’s such a little big word.
Who we are.  All we are made of.  How we think and act and live; It’s all because of our family.  Who we are at the very core, however, is of God.  Before there was anything, He created us and planned for us.  Before we were formed in the womb, we were known by Him and loved by Him.

Jeremiah heard this from God first hand:

 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, 
before you were born I set you apart; 
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” 

(Jeremiah 1:5)

The original Hebrew for the word “formed” is יצר pronounced “yatsar”
It is defined as “the squeezing into shape; to mould into a form.”

It is this physical formation, this shaping, that God says happened after something very special.  In the deepest parts of our spirit is the spark that started it all; the moment He dreamed us up, decided who we would be, and conceived us in His being.  He knew us

The original Hebrew for the word “knew” is ידע pronounced “yada”
It is defined as “to properly ascertain by seeing.”

When we see someone, like a family member, we know them; we recognize them.  We have a place in our heart for them and we love them dearly.  God loves us this way because we are of Him; His family.  Though we live as children of our parents here on earth, we are children of Him, first, and the day we were born He recognized us.

The holidays spur us to plan to gather and celebrate our togetherness.  We enjoy the presence of those with us, and tenderly reflect on the absence of those we have lost.  We hold this feeling because we are family and we are joined by a bond that is as difficult to break as it is to separate salt and sand.

Given the circumstances, Joseph and Mary must have felt some stress traveling all that way; going back to the land of his ancestors with his wife-to-be and child-on-the-way.  But he did it; out of familial duty.  Caesar issued the decree requiring every person to register for the census, and so they went.  It was long trip, and a long road to get there.  Point A to Point B would have taken them right through the mountains of Samaria, which wasn’t the best choice.  They were left to decide on traveling the coastline, or staying inland along the Jordan.  Considering the dire need for fresh water, the Jordan route is the most widely recognized.  All that to simply register he and his new family.

It is likely we’ll find stress and havoc in the planning and traveling, 
but consider it joy Ladies.

As we plan to meet our earthly family, let’s gather love and grace from our Heavenly Father and carry that joy into everything we’ll do.  Just as He recognizes and loves us each day, let’s love even harder on our family members as we see them this month.  Familial duty doesn’t have to be a chore, but can become a gift when we embrace the details of it.  Let’s lift one another up in prayer and wish the very best for our sisters during the middle of season.

Where are you traveling this holiday?

Are you hosting?

What sorts of emotions are you carrying into the impending family times?

Look at all we can do online; how quickly we can take care of very necessary duties as a citizen.  Consider those who only wish they could travel to see their family during the holidays.  Rest on the peace of knowing how blessed you are, right now, to not only plan to see your family, but get there quickly, in a comfortable car, filled with gifts and food, and update your Instagram in the process!  Write down your plans for the holiday, whether you are heading to the airport, or just your living room, and punctuate each detail with a prayer.  Praise Him for every moment you get to plan for; for the joy you’ll celebrate as we’ll all celebrate Him!

Popular posts from this blog

In with the old

a white flag moment

looking back