Christmas

Right Time

This devotional is written by Max Somerset. Max or 'Magic Max' is a magician and an incredibly good one.

Galatians 4:4-7

4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. 6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God's child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

Reflection

We have all heard the often-disparaging adage "You can choose your friends but you can't choose your family." It cynically echoes the idea that cheek and Jarl we are stuck with certain people. To be a son or daughter, a mother or father is something that cannot be genetically disowned no matter how estranged they may be. I have seen families have heated feuds and big fallouts but the cousin is in touch with the brother who is in touch with the mother and ultimately there is more often than not a draw to pull ranks.
 
The Gospel message in all its glory has a lot more to say about how entrenched we are in the family of God than we realise. Did you know that Jesus is not ashamed to call himself your brother? (Hebrews 2v11) and because we are so inextricably connected to Jesus we are joint Heirs with him and we will have the task of judging Angels (1 Corinthians 6v3) and the World! (1 Corinthians 6v2)

Paul illustrates the difference between slavery under the Old Covenant and a Child Parent relationship under the New. This became so apparent to me when I went with my fiancée to pray at the Western Wall of Jerusalem among those who were steeped in the traditions of Judaism. I had to wear a Chuppah and she was upbraided for wearing a skirt that had gathered dust at the hem. "How can you pray to God when you look like this?" someone snapped in her face. We were separated, as men were not permitted to pray with women and Muslims who were separate from the Jews commandeered the top of the mount. Israeli soldiers stood on guard with guns and entry and exit required authorisation. In stark contrast to this, we then went onto the garden Tomb just up the road, a Christian run site overlooking the possible location of Golgotha and in which there is a first century tomb much like the one in which Jesus would have been buried. As we entered, there was a palpable and wonderful feeling of Love, Peace and Joy as people from China; The Philippines; Iran; Israel; Africa; Nigeria and the Netherlands among other nations; all having made a pilgrimage to come and worship Jesus in their own languages. Some of the melodies sung in other languages we recognised from our own church in St Mary's. We felt as if we had just come home to our true family.

As a child of God wherever you go in the world, when you meet another one of his children, haven't you found that there is a bond in the Holy Spirit, which transcends cultural and linguistic barriers? I know I have. It's not something you can manufacture and it's only Jesus that makes us the kind of family that is thicker than blood. No matter how you are feeling this Christmas amidst the current difficulties, remember that Jesus the saviour is also your brother, you have a family all over the world, and your Heavenly Father is only a prayer away.


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