Christmas is a time for Family (Trees)

21 Dec

What things sum up Christmas for you? Could it be family? Hopefully you all enjoy(?) the festive period because it brings together family and friends. Maybe it’s trees? Trees are everywhere aren’t they?! Shopping centres, town squares (ruined by rank railings!) and even in our living rooms.

In fact you can learn a lot about someone by the tree they have. Is it a real tree? They love nature. Smells are important to them. Is it fake artificial? They are economic and practically minded.

Christmas is actually about family, trees and most importantly ‘Family Trees!’

Don’t believe me? Check out Matthew 1 – the start of Matthews Nativity piece…the start of his gospel….the start of the new testament! What does this long line of heroes, zeros and relatives we’d rather forget teach us about Jesus? It teaches us that Jesus is fully human. He has a family tree!!!Unlike Superman who just looked human, Jesus is the real deal. As the gospels show us he felt, hungered, thirst, laughed and wept! He spent 9months in a womb, totally dependant on his mothers good diet!

But that’s not Jesus’ only family tree. Luke records a similar affair from which we can deduce a similar conclusion. John on the other hand comes right out of left field! Have a look at chapter 1:

verse 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

verse 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Jesus family tree is unlike any other we’ve seen! It doesn’t have branches all over the place. Just God, plus flesh! Jesus wasn’t just human, he was heavenly too! Jesus is divine…he’s God!

Now this is controversial, the incarnation has been hotly debated for the last 2000 years…but here we have it in Jesus’ family trees. He was human AND he was heavenly. Awesome.

What about our family trees? What do they show us? Well firstly that we’re just next in a long line of rebels, sinners. Each and every name in our family tree betrays the fact that just like our ancestors, we’re part of a people who have rebelled against God. The great King David new it when he wrote Psalm 51:

Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

Now David wasn’t mental, he didn’t think that he’d consciously rebelled against God in the womb…but he knew that he was next in line. like a child inherit his fathers nationality…we inherit our parents rebellion.

But is that the way it was meant to be? Has it always been the case? Genesis introduces us to our common ancestors, our first parents, who were made in Gods image (unlike the rest of creation), who were spoken to by God (unlike the rest of creation)…who were made for relationship with God!  But the story doesn’t stop there, instead it takes a terrible twist as they rebel, oust God from his rightful place and instead install themselves.

Relationship ruined by rebellion.

So what does Jesus’ family tree(s) have to do with ours? Well actually a whole lot! If our family tree shows us our dire situation, Jesus is an attempt to rectify. While we are in rebellion, unable to ‘change our nationality’ (because we don’t meet the immigration criteria). Jesus comes with a purpose. God…plus flesh…to save sinners, to rescue rebels.

He’s perfectly God so we know he can meet the criteria and he’s perfectly human so we know we can be adopted by him. The incarnation is the start of the offer to swap family trees. An offer to scrap our long, ugly tree that has Adam as it’s head for a short, beautiful one with Jesus as it’s head.

There’s another tree we should remember at Christmas, and it’s not a Nordic fur. We need to remeber the Cross, the Easter tree. Peter wrote:

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree.

The need is there. The offer is there. Will you keep the wrapping paper this Christmas? The carols, the decorations…the food. and discard the present, the baby born and what he came to achieve. Or will you cling to that gift, relationship instead of rebellion, a new family tree?


One Response to “Christmas is a time for Family (Trees)”


  1. Christmas come early?!?! « saintbeagle - 27/10/2011

    […] A sermon – Christmas is a time for Family (trees) […]

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