Christmas is about love – but what kind of love?
Love as the popular song says, “Makes the world go round and around….” and the Beatles sang “all you need is love.” But what is this love that we need, this love that makes the world go round and around?
Christina Rossetti’s carol says, “Love came down at Christmas.” Yet this is not the love the world so frequently talks about, this is not some Hollywood kind of love, no, this is something far greater, far deeper, far more profound.
Yet many fail to get it. To make the connection. To enter the reality. And the reason being is that we start halfway through the ‘story’ and so have no context for understanding it because it never really connects with our world. The result? The Christmas ‘story’ ends up as just another sentimental heart warming story, one that we can grow out of.
We must start somewhere else, in fact at the beginning, even beyond the beginning.
Love existed before there was any of this, before a page of human history was writ, because love begins with God himself. The Bible simply says, “God is love.” From all eternity he has been love. He doesn’t get it, or give it like a chemist. He doesn’t have it, He is love – profound. He is love because he is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, a Community of being, holy, happy being, where love has been given and received eternally. This is why the Trinity is so important. A god who is simply singular in his being cannot be love and so the emphasis will be on power and control.
Love requires others. Love must be given and received and so it was from all eternity.
That Love brought about the creation of the world. Love is creative, extending and enabling.
That Love brought humanity into being, not to live separately and do it’s own thing but within the sphere of true love, within that Trinitarian love of God himself – and it was glorious.
I say ‘was.’ Early on we turned our nose up at God’s love, thought we could do things a better way, and walked away from God the very source of love itself, and cut off from true love ours has been an awful selfish mockery of it ever since – we have neither truly loved God or loved one another, the Bible calls it sin, and it’s results are all around us.
But God who is love did not stop loving. He had a plan. A radical plan. One of the members of that holy Trinity would come here – yes here, into this dark, depraved world and He would live in the very flesh He created, and breathe the air and eat the food he gave to sustain it. Yes, the carol is right, “Love came down at Christmas.” True Love. Love itself, or more correctly Love Himself – God.
“The Word (Jesus) became flesh” – just like yours and mine, and “dwelt among us” – yes, right here, not distant, but Emmanuel, God with Us! And in doing so he revealed this staggering, amazing, wonderful, love of God. A love that doesn’t give up, doesn’t walk away, a love that goes way beyond the extra mile, to reconcile and restore us to the One who is Love Himself in order that we might know Love and truly love again. Wonderful!