By Renee Meyer
Son of God, Love’s pure light.
I have heard my entire Christian life that God is love and Christmas is the celebration of that love. But I have rarely paused to consider what that actually means.
This Christmas Eve, let’s take a moment to consider what we learn from the birth of Christ about the love of God.
The birth of Christ was long anticipated, but it came as a surprise.
The Jewish Scriptures are rich with prophecies foretelling the coming of the Messiah. Yet when He came, a few star-struck shepherds and the farm animals were the only crowd there to welcome Him. As He grew into manhood and followed the Father’s Will straight to the cross, his own family and closest followers did not understand what He was doing. His coming was long anticipated – but it looked so differently than what people expected, many missed it.
Perhaps this is always the way with the Love of God? We long to know that God loves us. We see the ancient promises of His love, but it is easy to miss because His love doesn’t look the way we expect it to look.
Do you believe God loves you? Why? Or why not? Is there a chance you’ve placed your own expectations on what His love looks like?
“If God really loved me, then He would . . . ”
This Christmas Eve, are we willing to let God love us in His own way? Are we willing to slow down and confess where we don’t believe His love, where we’re blinded by our own expectations? Are you willing to let God’s love surprise you?
The birth of Christ was small.
Jesus’ birth was a royal birth. The cross was His coronation. But this king entered His realm as a tiny baby. This long-awaited Messiah arrived not into a royal palace or grand estate, but to a teenage mom in a stranger’s stable. The pomp and circumstance we associate with Kings was missing. This was a small event in a backwater portion of an insignificant country. We live in the world of BIG and BOLD, a world where size is power and power is significance.
But small things matter.
This Christmas Eve, let us remember that smallness. Let’s let the smallness of His birth make us willing to see God’s love in small things. And let it make us willing to extend God’s love in small things.
The birth of Christ was messy.
We teach our children to sing “the little Lord Jesus no crying he makes . . . ,” but let’s be honest. Jesus was as fully human as He was fully God, so “no crying” is highly unlikely, right?
Our God-King entered the world He created through the same laborious path that centuries of humanity have followed, with birth pangs and blood and fluid and pain. And since our God-King’s first crib was an animal feeding trough, His birth was not the starry and sterile picture we see in our nativities. It was real. It probably didn’t smell all that pleasant. It was messy.
God’s love is messy.
God’s love is messy? I have been fighting this truth for as long as I can remember. But day after day, year after year, I learn that love is messy. I want Jesus to wait until I get my mess at least a little cleaned up, and then I will believe God’s love and let Him love me. But Jesus – in His love – doesn’t ask me to clean up, He moves right into the mess with me. And then He invites me to do the same for those I love.
This Christmas Eve, can we let God into our mess? Rather than rushing around like crazy people in order to present a pretty picture to the world and to our God, are we willing to be messy? Can we sit still long enough to really believe and receive His love right in the midst of our mess? And can we willingly embrace the mess of this noisy, dirty, hurting world, and LOVE?
Silent Night, Holy Night
Son of God, Love’s pure light.
This Christmas Eve, let’s take a deep breath. Jesus is love. We are loved with a love that is surprising, and small, and messy. This Christmas and beyond, we get to go out and love with that love.
Be surprising. Be willing to be small. Be willing to get messy.
Jesus is love.
Go and love.