As prophesied by Isaiah and pronounced by John the Baptist, when Jesus came into the womb of the unwed teenager Mary, the valleys that separate time from eternity were ever so briefly filled in. The mountains that divide the all-powerful God from weak and lowly flesh were crushed down. The crooked paths that keep the unlimited presence of God apart from those who are limited by 3-dimensional space and time were straightened out. The highways were opened up and smoothed out in order for God who knows all and sees all to become present and dwell in the world among those of us who can only see through a glass darkly.
Love was born into the world on that first Christmas day, from a God who is love. Love came to walk with us and talk with us and to show us the way to truly love God and to truly love each other. Jesus is the Love of God whose life just shouts at us about how much God loves us. What a blessing God gave to the world! Jesus, the reason for the season, is Love himself, born into human form.
Love was born into the world to die for us. For God so loved the world. The truth about God’s love proven to us by Jesus is that love simply is. God is love. Jesus is love. There is no question about whether God loves or not. God’s love is a permanent, fixed truth about who God is and there is no more or less about it. The truth about love is that if it was quantifiable, Jesus might not have stayed up on that cross. He might have said, I love them a lot, but not that much.
The truth about love that Jesus proved on the cross is that if you love, you simply love–there is no more or less about it. The way we increase love in this world is not by having more love, but by helping more people learn how to truly love.
Jesus proved to us up on that cross that God loves all us, including our enemies, unconditionally. It doesn’t matter how many tragedies happen in this world. It doesn’t matter how many bad experiences happen in our lives. God’s love can never be taken away from us. We don’t understand why bad things happen–we are not privileged to have that knowledge. But we must understand that God is love. That’s what Jesus came to show us. God loves us with a love so true that He wouldn’t come down from that cross. That’s the truth about real love—it never fails.
The truth about love is that God is love. Jesus is love. The Holy Spirit is love. Love is pouring out in unlimited abundance by all three persons of God, ours for the taking. Because Love was born into the world we are given hope even in the middle of chaos, peace that the world doesn’t understand even in the middle of fear and confusion, and such amazing joy that we have to sing, to shout, to jump about it, even though tragedies take place around us.
When we begin to understand the unlimited, unconditional permanence of God’s love for us, we’ll want to share it; we’ll want to go tell it on the mountain, that love has been born into the world. God’s love, when we open ourselves to share it, will overflow all across the world.
May your Christmas celebrations be filled with the warm, comforting glow of love, awe and wonder that surrounded the birth of Christ–God’s gift to us–God’s amazing love for all of us, wrapped up in a little baby boy who was born in a manger.