The Family Christmas “Tree”

December 15, 2022

“Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God-children born not of natural descent, nor human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”  John 1:12,13

Family Drama the gift that keeps on giving

I saw this message stitched on a Christmas hand towel while out shopping with my wife. 

It made me laugh. It also stirred up some painful memories.

I have the feeling that I’m not alone. 

Many of us get to unwrap the ‘gift’ of family drama all year long. Then the holidays roll around and only exacerbate existing dysfunction. It’s a sad reality, but for a lot of families, Christmas is definitely not the most wonderful time of the year. 

If you can relate, please remember this: 

The beauty of the Christmas story breathes hope into difficult and dysfunctional family relationships.

Consider the lineage of Jesus. 

Though He was without sin, Jesus was born into a long line of sinners. His family tree includes liars, wicked kings, a murderer, and even a prostitute. (*See below) Talk about dysfunction. That’s dysfunction with a capital “D!”   

Even so, through the centuries, God was in control, accomplishing His master plan. Like a stained-glass window, the Lord took the sin-shattered pieces of generational brokenness and made something beautiful, becoming a man in the person of Jesus Christ.  

Jesus was born so that we could be “born again” (John 3:7). When we place our faith in Him, we enter a new family, born not of “natural descent” but “born of God” (John 1:12). We are grafted into His family tree as “sons and daughters” of the living God (1 John 3:1). I would say that’s the complete opposite of dysfunction. 

Question: Have you ever truly been born again?

Theologian, John Stott, writes, “The Christian life is not just our own private affair. If we have been born again into God’s family, not only has He become our Father, but every other Christian believer in the world, whatever his nation or denomination, has become our brother or sister in Christ.”

The bonds we develop with our brothers and sisters in Christ anchor us amid the turbulent waters of family drama. I’m a living testimony that our faith family can help us overcome the dysfunction in our biological family.  

At this point, you might be thinking, “That’s all well and good, but none of this changes my family dynamics.” 

 Maybe not, but it does change you. And that makes all the difference in the world. 

In Jesus, we are a “new creation; the old has gone, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). As such, we are no longer defined by the ‘drama’ but by our identity as a child of the King.  

Praise God!

Remember, He has not left us to our own devices. His indwelling Spirit empowers us with a strength far greater than our own, enabling us to rise above our circumstances. 

I’m not saying it’s easy. It’s not.

But if we continue to hold fast to Jesus and immerse ourselves in the Body of Christ, one day, we will look back and see that He is able to make something beautiful out of anything. 

Even broken family relationships.

Written by Jonathan Munson, Executive Director, RFTH

*Examples From The Genealogy of Jesus

Liars – Abraham and Jacob (Matthew 1:2)

Wicked kings – Ahaz (Matthew 1:9), Manasseh (Matthew 1:10), Amon (Matthew 1:10)

Murderer- David (Matthew 1:6) Prostitute- Rahab (Matthew 1:5)