Today’s Advent Journey word is Family. As soon as we opened the box this morning, I was reminded of how important family truly is. And I decided that I wouldn’t write a long blog tonight, but rather, I would take that time and focus it on my family instead. It just so happened that we had a special time with a few friends tonight celebrating Christmas, and on that note I want to encourage those who may not have family or may not feel close to family- sometimes those of no actual family relation can become the family that God puts in our lives.   Relationships are the most important thing in life. First, our relationship with God, second our spouse if we are married, third, our children if we have children. But our parents, siblings, cousins, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews, grandchildren, church family, and anyone that God puts into our lives who we see as “family” should be top priority over things, over jobs, over anything. People matter and family matters most of all. So if you are reading this, as I have challenged myself today, I so challenge you: put down your phone or your tablet, and look up at those around you. Invest time and love into their lives. Make the moments count. Quality time matters, but so does quantity of time. 

A final thought- Jesus could have come into the world any way- He could have come as a mysterious Man from nowhere. But God chose for Him to enter into the world as a tiny Babe and be a part of a family, with an earthy mother, earthy father, and later on earthy brothers and sisters. How beautiful that God values the family unit so much that He ordained for Christ to be born into a family. And how beautiful that Jesus looked at his disciples in Matthew 12:46-50 and called them His family:
While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.

Let’s treat our family as if they truly matter, today and everyday.