"But when the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, 'Abba, Father.' So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir." - Galatians 4:4-7
And this, too, is the good news of Christmas.
The baby in the manger whose birth we celebrate this weekend came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). He came with great love to seek and to save all of us, who like sheep, had gone astray (Isaiah 53:6, 1 Peter 2:25). And He still comes, every day, to each of us, with grace and mercy, love and compassion - still seeking us in those places where we're straying, still finding us when we lose our way and bringing us home again.
"I am the Good Shepherd," He said. "I know my sheep, and my sheep know me - just as the Father knows me and I know the Father - and I lay down my life for my sheep. ... My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one." (John 10:14-15, 27-30)
So rest secure, children of God. The baby whose birth we celebrate this weekend came down from heaven to rescue you, because He loves you that much - and you are his sons and his daughters, the ones who know Him, the ones who know His voice. As we gather to worship today and tomorrow, may His peace that passes all understanding guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7). And may you be filled with wonder and awe as you seek Him. Amen.