Christmas is fundamentally a family holiday. We should celebrate the Christ child, but we don’t need to be lugubrious about it. We don’t need to suppress family fun because the family is in the image of the Holy Family and pleasing to God. Your family relation is part of the deep spiritual core of Christmas, as two overlooked passages of Christmas scripture show.

You cover the LORD’s altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand.

But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the LORD was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant.

Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth.

For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the LORD, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the LORD of hosts.

That’s Malachi 2:13-16.

When Christ says to Mary and Joseph–

I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me

–they will not ask him “when?”.

Have you welcomed babies to your home? Would you if you could?

Inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of these, you have done it unto me.

This Christmas, you are not a spectator at the stable. You are mother or father there. Your voice is Mary’s.

My soul doth magnify the Lord,
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.
He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;
As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.

Honor the baby Jesus with candy in your own kid’s stocking.

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