“Love caused your incarnation; love brought you down to me. Your thirst for my salvation procured my liberty. Oh, love beyond all telling, that led you to embrace in love, all love excelling, our lost and fallen race.”—Evangelical Lutheran Worship (ELW, #241, v.3)
Jesus loves us and there is absolutely nothing we can do about it – nothing that will change this. I’ve said this many times before and will most likely continue to say it because it is so true. Christmas reminds us of it once again. We tend to split the Bible into two stories, the “Before Jesus” story and the “After Jesus” story, but in reality, the Bible is all the Jesus story. Phillips Brooks, an Episcopal Bishop and author who died in 1893 (also the writer of “O, Little Town of Bethlehem”) says, “It was not suddenly and unannounced that Jesus came into the world. He came into a world that had been prepared for him. The whole Old Testament is the story of a special preparation …Only when all was ready, only in the fullness of his time, did Jesus come.”
God loved us so much that he wanted us to be able to re-connect with him. From the beginning, the plan was for Jesus to come and live with us when the time was right and all was prepared. But, until that time, he missed us and longed for the restored relationship. Once, while I was meditating, I was given a sense of that longing. It was intense and brought tears to my eyes that I couldn’t stop from flowing. I can’t describe it because there are really no words and when I try, even now and even to myself, the tears come. The best I can do is to say that it was a feeling of longing, aching, loving and missing all in one. A feeling of the Lover separated from the beloved, multiplied many times over.
Max Lucado wrote that we will travel great distances to be with those we love, especially on holidays, because we love to be with the ones we love. He continues by saying, “….So does God. How else do you explain what he did? Between him and us there was a great distance….And he couldn’t bear it. So he did something about it. He travelled far.”
God loves us!! God wanted us and missed us so he took the form of a helpless baby, born in a barn or a cave, in poverty to a human mother and into a simple carpenter’s family. God the creator entered the womb of a girl he had created. It was time. All was prepared. Think about that if it doesn’t boggle your mind too much. Even so – ponder it. Our restoration, redemption and reconnection was born on this night of his birth.
“When God feels distant,” Max says, “remember the Christmas story. When you feel alone, unloved, or unlovable, remember that God loves you. And he travelled a great distance to be close to you. Why? Because he loves to be with the ones he loves!”
And there is nothing you can do about it – nothing that will change this.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.—John 1:14 (RSV)
And so, the story continues. Stay tuned.
An Irish Christmas Prayer for You.
The Light of the Christmas Star to you. The warmth of home and hearth to you. The cheer and good will of friends to you. The love of the Son and God’s Peace to you.
My love and Blessing also to you. Merry Christmas. Donna