And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Christmas morning is pretty awesome—family, stockings, and gifts. It’s cozy and reassuring and comfortable. It’s easy and relaxed. It feels safe.
We can all think of a number of reasons that Christmas feels that way. If you’re at the Sapp house it’s because of turkey and dressing and It’s A Wonderful Life on TV. Or, if you’re Julie, it’s mostly because Christmas is an occasion to dress up the dog!
Maybe at your house that Christmas feeling is wrapped in the anticipation of presents or the enthusiasm of children. Maybe it’s the smell of coffee in the kitchen, a warm fire burning, or just the stillness of a day off.
But, as we’ve been talking about at HERITAGE for four weeks now, there’s another reason that Christmas feels different. Christmas brings a new kind of justice into the world—a new love, a new hope, a new joy, and a new peace. Christmas morning is what God’s justice feels like, easy and relaxed and safe. When we’re surrounded by God’s righteousness it feels cozy and warm and reassuring and comfortable.
It may not be easy and comfortable as we partner with God to work for justice and achieve righteousness, but when God’s justice and righteousness are made complete, the promise is one of endless peace under the growing authority of a loving God now and forevermore.
Christmas morning feels different because today the tense changes—from God’s justice will transform the world to God’s justice is transforming the world. On Christmas morning we celebrate the fact that God’s justice is wholly present and fully embodied in a child in a manger, the Savior of the world.
This morning the promise has been fulfilled. Today righteousness has body and form and physicality. Justice walks around and breathes and interacts with us because today God is with us and for us like God has never been before. The Word is flesh!
When we talk at HERITAGE about being holy, healthy and whole, we focus on those attributes because we believe as we become holy, healthy and whole we become more like Christ. And we know that when we become more like Christ, God’s justice and righteousness have a better chance of transforming our communities.
So here’s our prayer for you today. We hope that you experience a holy moment today—in prayer or in conversation, knee high in wrapping paper or gathered around the dinner table. We pray that today leads to continuing or newfound health in your family relationships. And we wish that this Christmas day will be made complete by a growing sense of wholeness—a wholeness rooted in the incarnational presence of God—in you and for your family.
-Matt and Julie Sapp
His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with JUSTICE and with RIGHTEOUSNESS from this time onward and forevermore.