God's family can't be dysfunctional

At 6:30 a.m. on Christmas Day I went to a park. In the country I was visiting at the time, Christianity was not generally practiced. I had been away from my home ten days, and I wanted some time to be able to think and pray. I had been staying with a family in their home, where competition, arguing, and selfishness seemed to be regular patterns among the family members.

My thoughts went to the New Testament account of Mary and Joseph as they embarked on their journey to a different country to pay their taxes (see Luke, chap. 2). Mary knew that she would be delivering her baby while on the trip, and both Joseph and Mary were aware that their family life would be forever changed as a result of Jesus' birth. They were unable to find regular lodging on the night of the birth, but they continued to trust God to guide them and to provide for them. They were given a stable to stay in and found the space and privacy they needed for the birth.

The Christmas message about birth
December 18, 1995

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