“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”- John 3:16
I was at a work party a few years ago and overheard two of my coworkers talking. One asked the other if her daughter was old enough to understand and appreciate the true meaning of Christmas. The person replied, “Yes of course, she is very into all the presents and Santa.” “Oh, that’s wonderful,” replied the woman in full agreement that gifts and Santa were the reason for the season.
I love the anticipation of Christmas. I love the lights, the carols, the cards, decorating my tree, the gifts- all of it. Still, none of these traditions come close to comparing to the joy of the true meaning of Christmas, and no, I don’t mean Santa.
Jesus, the eternal God, made flesh and sleeping in a manger surrounded by animals and shepherds on that cold Bethlehem night reminds me that there are no limits to God’s love. There is no place so lowly or common, no depths or valleys too dark, no place on earth Jesus will not chase after us in his passionate pursuit of our hearts in order to redeem, transform, heal, remake and renew us. What better picture of love than Jesus coming to earth, in all the vulnerability and fragility of a human yet with the divinity and holiness of God.
Christmas means love came down to earth.
Christmas means Mary held love in her lap.
Christmas means our Savior was born and our Savior lives.
Whether this Christmas season is abundant or simple, whether you are surrounded by loved ones, or remembering and missing someone, whether your halls have been decked since November, or you are taking a year off because you’re tired, this Christmas, allow Love, the true meaning of Christmas, to draw near. Let Love in. Let Love, love you, because this is exactly what Love Does. It’s who Love Is. And His name is Jesus.
Prayer of Response:
God, Thank you for loving the world and for loving me with a perfect love and thank you for the gift of your son, Jesus. Amen.
Questions to Ponder:
How can you let Love love you this Christmas?
What tradition do you have or could you create to keep Jesus at the center of your Christmas celebration?
—Submitted by Erinne Baker
Erinne Baker and her husband Travis live in Klamath Falls, Oregon where they are raising their four kids: Charlotte(10), Benjamin(7), William(5) and Wyatt (2). Erinne is a pursuer of truth and learner of what it means to trust God and live a life fueled by love and grace. She is a pastor and has a blog: https://truthseekeraskingquestions.com