Sunday, Dec. 25 – Matt Orth

25 Dec

Christmas Day: Love
Today’s Scripture:
Isaiah 9:1-7
John 1:1-5, 3:31-36

We tend to believe that to love someone is to give them gifts, and that to receive gifts is to be loved. I cannot argue that there is a great deal of truth to that statement, but I also can quickly see that the why of the gift and the what kind of gift can factor into what kind of love we’re talking about. We can give gifts that are to “make-up” for mistakes or to just re-pay a previous gift or to soften up someone that you want to ask a favor of. We can give gifts that offer short term pleasure but lack the substance to be meaningful just a few months down the road (see also: most toys). The gifts that resonate the most deeply and the ones that make us feel the most loved are the ones we know came from the giver’s heart, gifts that required time and/or sacrifice. Gifts that mean more the more you think about them. The homemade quilt, the loaf of banana bread, the ring that required a great deal of disciplined saving.

When we look at the love motivating the giving of baby Jesus to humankind, we see so much into the heart of God, the Great Giver. . .

We receive not only our future Savior and Lord, but we receive the one known as Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace. . .

We receive the Word in the flesh, the One through whom all the world was made, and the only One in whom we can find true life. . .and in that life we find light. We as people no longer have to stumble through life without sight, fumbling in the darkness of sin and in the confusion of not knowing why we’re here. . .

In this loving Gift, we receive eternal life, a fellowship with God that goes from theoretical knowledge to an experienced knowledge lived out in the mountains and valleys of life. The Gift is Immanuel, He is with us. . .

In baby Jesus, we receive all these things and more. But we also receive our pattern for what it means to be human, and to be human, by God’s design and work, is to be loving. . .

In Jesus, we see the self-giving love of the Father: that He would send His Son in such a humble way to serve such a sinful people even to His death on a cross. We see sacrifice, commitment, and humility out of compassion for our state. In Christ, we see the glory of God.

May we reflect on the many resplendent aspects of the Gift of God that we celebrate this season. May the Gift and the Giver teach us how much we are loved and how we too can love others. Let the baby Jesus in the manger guide us to the cross, and from the cross, may He guide us to the empty tomb.

-MWO

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