In the Garden of Eden the genetic material of all humanity was contained in the bodies of Adam and Eve. From these two, the human race descended. We are all related. The novel I released this month is a story of life, death, and the beginning, a novel of our family, the human story.
Over the millennia our family tree forked and headed off in all directions, peopling the earth. We developed into many different tribes, nations, peoples, and languages. Yet God intends to bring all groups back together into one family, reunited through the work Christ accomplished on the cross. This will “be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment” and will “bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ” (Ephesians 1:10).
Hundreds of years before Jesus was born, Isaiah penned in one of his Servant Songs, these verses foretelling Christ’s role as Messiah. God’s words to His Son are recorded by the prophet to a singular “you,” God’s only begotten Son:
“I am the LORD; I have called you in righteousness;
I will take you by the hand and keep you;
I will give you as a covenant for the people,
a light for the nations (all of us),
to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
from the prison those who sit in darkness.
(Isaiah 42:6-7 ESV)
To bring the light of salvation to the nations, Jesus fulfilled the terms of this covenant on the cross, representing us as a human being—the One whose birth in human flesh we honor on this holy day. When the baby Jesus had grown to be a man, He made this covenant through the shedding of His own blood, so that all who trust in Him from every part of the planet could be reunited into one family.
Paul emphasized this in his letter to the church in Colossae, where he informed the church there and, through them, all followers of Jesus Christ that we “have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all”(Colossians 3:10-11).
This renewing changes us, transforming us into people with relationships that transcend skin color and ethnic loyalties. Because of this, all believers will one day praise Jesus, as predicted in Revelation 5:9-10:
“Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slain,
and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation,
and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”
Since this is true, as we consider how we can bring peace to this strife-filled world, we must recall that we are all family. Every person from every race, creed, or religion is related genetically to us and has the potential to be related to us spiritually through faith in Jesus Christ. People from every tribe, language, people, and nation will come to Him.
As we are called upon to make decisions during war-torn times, are we mindful of this when we speak and act?
In this season of Christ’s incarnation – His birth as one of us, we have encountered refugee decisions and shocking political statements concerning entire groups of people.
Have we remembered the potential for faith within each human being? Have we recalled God’s goal to bring people to faith in His Son and into relationship with us as brothers and sisters?
This season reminds us of the importance of remembering God’s salvific intentions in the world and of His love for all humanity.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1).
On this Christmas Day and every day, let us live as the body of Christ, His own hands and feet on the earth, bringing the same love and concern toward others as we display toward our own families on this blessed day.
Merry Christmas to you and yours! And to all people, peace on earth!