“The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine…
During the past three weeks, we have been building up to the celebration of Christ’s birth. I have really appreciated the time to reflect on God’s Ultimate Gift of Jesus and all it means to us as we wait in anticipation of our Savior. As we continue this journey of advent, let’s look at how Love fits into our celebration.
This is Love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. -1 John 4:10
It’s hard to comprehend what that really looks like in the Christmas story. We all know the story… even a child understands the baby in a manger, but do we really understand? Really? Can we actually process the idea of the God of the universe coming to us as a baby? Because of …Love?
Ann Voskamp, in her book, The Greatest Gift, says it like this…
Our God who breathes stars in the dark-He breathes Bethlehem’s Star, then takes on lungs and breathes in stable air. We are saved from hopelessness because God came with infant fists and opened wide His hand to take the iron-sharp edge of our sins.
Our God who forms and delivers the black of the heavens-He waits patiently like an embryo in a womb and delivers Himself to free you. We are saved from forever pain, because God pierced the dark and came to the pinpoint of us in the universe and took the nails.
Our God who cradles whole galaxies in the palm of His hand, whom highest heavens cannot contain-He folds Himself into our skin, and He uncurls His newborn fingers in the cradle of a barn feeding trough…and we are saved from ourselves.
We are saved from our loneliness because God is love and He can’t stand to leave us by ourselves, to ourselves. That is the message of Christmas. We need a Messiah.
For unto us a Child is born.
God can’t stay away. This is the love story that has been coming for you since the beginning. The God who walked with us in the Garden in the cool of the evening before the Fall shattered our looseness with Him, is the God who came after His people in the pillar of cloud, of fire, because he could not bear to let his people wander alone. He is the God who loves us and likes us and isn’t merely 50 percent or 72.3 percent for us, but the God who is always, unequivocally, 100 percent for us- the God who is so for us that He is the God who chooses to be with us. (Voskamp,138-139,2013)
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son. That whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. For God did NOT send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save it through Him.” John 3:16 & 17.
And now over Bethlehem, in the Nativity according to Luke, the star hangs high, victorious on a silent night, a holy night.
Now all is calm. God comes…God comes quiet….
This night a battle has been waged and won for you. Love had to come back for you. Love had to get to you. The Love that has been coming for you since the beginning - He slays dragons for you. This is the truest love story of history, and it’s His-Story, and it’s for you. This is love you can’t comprehend. You can only feel and touch this kind. There, in the place where you feel rejected, you can be touched by God. There, in the places you feel small, you can touch God. He came in the flesh. (Voskamp, 234, 2015)
As we continue to prepare for Advent this week, pause to reflect on how immense and incredible God’s Love really is. How can we show this kind of love to our family, neighbors, co-workers? Pray and ask God to put people in your path who need to be loved, and then go the extra mile and put your faith into action. Praying we all shine His Light brightly into a world who desperately needs a Savior.
May God Bless you this Christmas,
Advent Reading Plan
Dec. 22 - John 1 3:1-21
Dec. 23 – 2 Corinth 4-5
Dec 24 – Revelation 21
Dec 25 – Luke 2:1-20