Galatians 3:23—4:7 —

Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed.  Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith.  But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.  As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.  There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.  And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.

My point is this: heirs, as long as they are minors, are no better than slaves, though they are the owners of all the property; but they remain under guardians and trustees until the date set by the father.  So with us; while we were minors, we were enslaved to the elemental spirits of the world.  But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children.  And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”  So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.

 

from Douglas Richardson, First Christian Church, Cameron

For some, Christmas has become just like any other holiday or worse yet it has been abused in a sea of commercialism drowning out the real meaning of this season.  In this Scripture lesson, Paul basically tells his readers that the covenant that was established through Abraham is now open to all and that we are descendants of this covenant not through genealogical descent but from our faith in God that was made flesh.  However that is not the end.  It is important to us all not only that God did come to us in human flesh, freeing us from the slavery that we lived before, but that we are made heirs of something greater then ourselves that we are somehow going to continue the legacy of this redemption!  How can we continue on this legacy?

We reaffirm our own baptismal covenant and our individual call to ministry.  We as a church need to remind ourselves that Christmas is not just a day, not just a season, but a time when God appeared in human flesh and gave His Spirit to us to empower us to continue on His legacy.  So I ask you, what are you doing to continue on your Father’s legacy?  There are many people in this world that are hurting, crying out for God, and many truly many that have a distorted view about what this season is all about.  You, you are God’s heirs, you, are God’s representatives, the God of all creation has given you His Spirit that we are told that we are to cry out Abba Father.  However sadly most Christians never share the gift that God has given them in His Spirit! Most Christian never share how Christ has freed them from their past lives of sin and slavery!  If we understand one thing from our society about Christmas it is about giving.  However it is more than giving material gifts, it is so much more!  This Christmas, give the gift of Christ, is that not what Christmas is really is all about?

As you have given yourself to us, O Lord, help us to give

freely and with unbounded joy!

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