This is the audio from the November 27, 2022 sermon, “The Christmas Family: A Place for YOU!”, shared by Tom Lemler at the Deer Run Church of Christ.
Text: Matthew 1:1-16
Today began our Christmas sermon series with a look at the Christmas family. Often times the first thing that comes to mind when we think of the Christmas family is the simple family of Mary and Joseph and then the arrival of Jesus. At times we may expand our thinking to include Zechariah and Elizabeth, but Matthew begins his account of the Christmas story with an entire list of the family involved . . . the genealogy of Christ. If you were to spend time going through the names listed, you would find people from nearly every type of background you can imagine. There is royalty and refugees, rich and poor, nationals and foreigners, prostitutes and powerful, givers and takers, there are liars, cheats, thieves, holy, noble, humble, and nearly any other characteristic you can imagine. In fact the list is so varied that I suspect that it shouldn’t be too difficult to see yourself in it in more ways than one. And the good news when you gaze into this list of the family ancestors of Christ is that seeing a place for them in the family ought to help you to realize this Christmas family has a place for . . .
- Yourself. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
- I suppose it should seem natural to begin our understanding of a place for you with a discussion of it being a place for yourself. Paul writes to the Corinthians and addresses a sampling of the things that keep people separated from God. He is even bold enough to tell his audience that they once were defined by these very things until they were washed and cleansed by the blood of Jesus. It is important to notice that God’s desire is to transform people from that which once identified them to becoming children of the living God. Jesus was born into this specific family line as listed by Matthew and we have the privilege of being a part of that family when we are born again into the family of God. When you look at the Christmas family as being the family of Jesus, you find that your past and present do not disqualify you from finding a place for yourself in this family.
- Others. 1 Corinthians 12:12, 27-31
- Knowing that there is a place for yourself is great news, but it is not the only news of the genealogy of Christ. As you look into the lives of those listed in the genealogy of Christ, it is important to note that regardless of what they once were, each one of them needed the others to complete the family line. Even as Paul writes to let individuals know the great value they have in the family of God, he often reminds them that this is true of others as well. Living as the Christmas family, the body of Christ, requires that we know it is a place for others. Jesus made it clear that He came to earth as the central figure in this Christmas story in order to seek and to save that which was lost. When we consider the scope of God’s family, we must learn to value others and the part God has created for them within the body. When you look at the Christmas family as being the family of Jesus, you find that it isn’t all about you but that it values others even above yourself.
- When you combine the value of yourself and the value of others within this Christmas family, you discover the value of us. And while “us” would have been a good topic for this third point, I believe understanding is more fitting because that is the necessary quality that combines yourself and others to become us. God instructs us as His children to live in understanding with one another. It is through a deliberate valuing of our similarities and differences that we are able to make the most of the variety of talents, skills. personalities, and giftedness God brings together within His body. It is in seeking this level of understanding that we find and can declare that each person has value not only to the body of Christ in the big, kingdom sense of the word, but each has great value to the local body of Christ as it meets to worship God, encourage one another, and make Christ known among its community.
Today, how will you see the value which belongs to each person God is calling into His family?