Listen to today’s devo!

And everyone went to their own town to register. (Luke 2:3)

When you visit your parents, do you find yourself acting and thinking like you did when you were a child? This is normal. The old familiar places you’ve tread upon are not only geographically familiar, but they are also associated to a timeframe in your development. Just because you’ve gotten older doesn’t mean that your parents necessarily relate to you as an adult. There’s a reason people say they’re going “back home.” It’s like we step back in time, not forward in our life journey. This stepping back can be a good thing, unless “backward” means you accidentally jettison the maturity you’ve grown into or the good habits you’ve established in life.

Right before Jesus was born, Joseph went back to his ancestral home base: Bethlehem. This town probably reminded him of his earlier visits as a kid, but it also drew his mind back to King David, from whom he was descended. Yet going backward was not the theme of this story. God was doing something new.

Jesus, a “son of David,” was about to be born and change the world. Joseph’s focus wasn’t simply on identifying with his family of origin; it was caring for the gift God had given him and stepping forward into the future. Family systems are not static. Jesus can do a new thing in your family this year.

At your next family gathering, don’t fall into old ruts.

Jarod Osborne is lead pastor of Pathway [Wesleyan] Church, in Warsaw, Indiana. He is the author of “Jaded Faith” (WPH).

© 2021 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.