Advent Day One: The Seed (Offspring) of Abraham

Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ (Galatians 3:16).

For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise (Galatians 3:27–29)

God made a covenant with Abraham, promising that he would bless him with many descendants. Paul explained that the fulfillment of that covenant was in Christ.

Abraham had a son, Ishmael, with Sarah’s handmaiden. Later, Abraham and Sarah welcomed the baby God had promised to give, and they named him Isaac. Abraham had two family trees with very different bloodlines.

God’s family has always been born with a different DNA from the rest of the world. After Christmas, God’s family was no longer defined as the physical offspring from the lineage of Abraham. The “seed of Abraham” is Jesus, and the family DNA is produced through faith in Abraham’s Lord.

Christmas is often thought of as a family holiday. But our earthly families can be as diverse as Abraham’s descendants. Who will you celebrate Christmas with this year? Families change and grow, and each marriage adjusts the physical DNA of the next generations. Life, work, and personalities can allow us to be together for Christmas or can keep us apart. We celebrate the Christmas holiday to honor Christ, but others, even among our own families, choose to celebrate for different reasons.

All Christians belong to a large spiritual family who celebrate Christmas with a unique perspective. The Christian family is linked through our spiritual DNA, the seed of Abraham. We are God’s children, joined by faith in the Christ child we celebrate. Our spiritual family is eternal and, one day, perfect. On that day, there will never be a moment that we will be separated or alone. In the Kingdom of God we will spend every day with everyone celebrating the Christ child.

Regardless of our earthly families’ genetic variety, our eternal family is identified and unified through faith in Jesus. All Christians have the same Father who loves us more than we can comprehend. The seed of Abraham has provided our spiritual DNA and our faith assures us of a home in heaven, living as children of the King. May all of us celebrate this Christmas season with our very large, very diverse spiritual family. The seed of Abraham, and his Father, would like that.

Excerpted from Christmas—In the Name of Jesus, by Janet Denison. Reprinted with permission. Order your copy of this Advent devotional.