But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Because you are sons, God has sent for the Spirit of His Son into our hears, crying, “Abba! Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.Galatians 4:4-7
This time of year inherently turns our hearts to thoughts of home. Between stockings hung by the chimney with care, Pennsylvania homemade pumpkin pie, snow, mistletoe, presents on the tree, and all the other things of Christmases just like the ones we used to know – the imagery is inescapable.
There is a reason this nostalgia is timeless – and marketable. We were created for relationship. We were created in the image of God and God is relational. At the core of every human being is the desire to be known, the desire to belong.
And it’s not just the cards and the carols, the story of Christmas itself reaches this desire, too. A mother, a father, a new baby on their own in a strange town; they had next to nothing, but what they did have was love and each other. No place to stay, but they had a place to belong.
This is why Christmas can be such a painful time of year as well. For those who have lost family members, for those from difficult backgrounds, for those who’s family doesn’t fill their need to belong – the longing may be closer to the surface now than any other season.
Regardless of our family histories, we have all wrestled with this longing at some point, we have all known what it is like to be disconnected, to be cut off, to be the other. We have all felt the greatest disconnect – we have all felt our distance from God.
But God, in His love, provided that we would have relationship with Him. What is more, He welcomes us into the most perfect form of belonging, family. Jesus was born that we might be called the children of God.
Happy Adoption Day.
… the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother. For it is written, “Rejoice, barren woman who does not bear; break forth and shout, you who are not in labor; for more numerous are the children of the desolate than of the one who has a husband.” And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise.Galatians 4:26-28