December 25, 2014 - When Love Was Born
1 John 4:7-16
This may not be the Christmas day passage we usually think about when we share the story of Christ’s birth. We think of Mary and Joseph, the shepherds and the angels. We imagine the manger scene.
Today, I want you to re-imagine that scene at the manger. You see them, Mary and Joseph, surrounded by gawking shepherds, who rushed to Bethlehem to see the wondrous thing of which the angels had spoken. Yes, imagine all that. Now, I want you to imagine you are there and peering into that manger trough, the place where animals would ordinarily find grain or straw to eat. The Bible tells us that laying in the trough is a baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes. I can picture the shepherds all taking turns peering into the manger, just trying to glimpse the beauty of God.
For, you see, in the manger, love was born. “For God so loved the world, that he gave us his one and only Son” (John 3:16). The love of God was born in human flesh that day. It is not that God had not loved humankind before that day and hour. No, far from that. God had always loved us, and had always wanted us to share in that love.
What happened that day in the manger was love became embodied. It was a love we could all sense and feel personally. Love came down to earth and like some virus that might spread, love could now spread from person to person.
The miracle we would eventually come to realize is that when we “catch” that love, we too would be born anew. Our lives would then become the message of God as we share the love Christ has shared with us. Each life touched becomes a new place of birth for God’s love to dwell.
Love was born at Christmas, and is reborn each time another person stops to marvel at the manger and believe the message. “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:11-12, KJV)
“...[I]f we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.” 1 John 4:12b
May Christ’s love be perfected in you as God’s gift to you this Christmas Day!