Advent 2016 — Dec 29

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. -- Galatians 4:4-7 Christmas is about family. We gather around tables of food, exchange gifts and greetings and travel to distant places to be together. We are bound by memories and shared experience. The birth of Christ is our opportunity to be adopted into the Christian family. Jesus showed up right on time to redeem us all from a life of religious frustration. Read the rules, break the rules, feel bad about ourselves, only to do it all over again the next day. Devotion to Christ ends this vicious cycle. Adopted into the Father's family, we receive the gift of the Spirit -- which is the same Spirit that gave Jesus the strength to do and be good. Now we can do and be good like Jesus. Our Father helps us when we cry out to him. The law was our nanny, until Jesus came. His Spirit inside us guides us into a life that pleases God.