The Christmas Story Is a Family Story

Devotion by David Bowman

Image: Devotion by David Bowman

Christmas and New Years invokes different emotions in the hearts of each of us. It seems inevitable that Christmastime evokes the most tender and loving feelings toward the Savior and His earthly family. Whereas New Years sprouts forth goals and the intention to do better. Be better.

The Christmas story is a family story. Have you ever thought about that? The accounts we have in the New Testament of the birth of Christ may be the most beloved and well-documented family history account ever given. Not only is there extensive and detailed genealogy recorded, but perhaps nowhere else in all of literature, whether religious or secular, is there a more tender and moving account of family unity, sacrifice, love, and service.

This story of family literally connects heaven and earth. The member’s of Jesus Christ’s earthly family; Mary, Joseph, and Jesus, are examples of God’s Christmas gift to mankind. Their story should not only spiritually motivate us, but drive us to emulate the attributes of this most holy family. They were unified in seeking God’s glory. Unified in serving one another. Unified in fulfilling God’s will. And most of all they were unified in sacrifice, obedience, and love.

They provided a pattern when copied by each of us we will be able to enjoy the same blessings of unity and love they enjoyed.

Mary was hand chosen by God to be the mother of Jesus Christ. Out of all the women in the world, Heavenly Father chose a common woman who lived in the little town. She was not a woman of great wealth or stature, but she possessed the attributes of holiness, obedience, humility, and great faith. Mary teaches each and every one of us the importance of trusting God.

Mary’s faith was tested, unlike any other person who ever had or ever would live on Earth.

Mary came to understand her true divine nature and willingly submitted to her unique maternal role. She found joy in being obedient.

Joseph was a man of humility and complete integrity. How would the natural man respond to this most unusual circumstance? Joseph responded with great spiritual maturity and integrity. Joseph was prepared to go to great lengths to secretly release Mary from her marriage obligation. He was being considerate of her well-being and her self-esteem. He was attempting to protect her even before he knew the truth of Mary’s condition.

Just think how much Heavenly Father trusted Joseph. He trusted Joseph to raise His Beloved Son with loving care. He trusted Joseph to protect both Jesus and Mary. Joseph earned that trust because of his humility, his patience, his obedience, and his willingness to comply with the Lord’s will. He exhibited all of these attributes because he was first a man of complete integrity.

Now the example of Jesus Christ—Jesus fulfilled with perfect obedience His role as the Christ. He offers us the example of obedience, pure love, sacrifice, and loyalty to His Heavenly Father’s plan.

Jesus Christ also helps us understand the true meaning and importance of love by being the perfect example of this holy attribute and then commanding us to follow His example.

The pure love that Jesus Christ feels for us, His brothers and sisters, is exemplified through His sacrifice.

Jesus Christ was literally the perfect Son. He successfully demonstrated throughout His entire life all of the celestial attributes we will ultimately need to emulate in order to achieve our own exaltation.

This holy family—Jesus Christ, Mary, and Joseph—provides a loving pattern of celestial attributes that, when emulated by us, will surely lead us back into the presence of God in the celestial kingdom.

I encourage each of us to select our goals for 2023 with our families in mind. If we strive to live the attributes demonstrated by this holy family on a daily basis, we will, in fact, be celebrating Christmas every day of the year, and we will come to understand the Christmas story as it truly is—a family history story that teaches us how to find joy in this life and in the life to come.