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Radical Love at Christmas

            It is heartwarming to see the overwhelming demonstration of love that brews during the Christmas season.  News reporters focus on stories of the kindness of strangers and communities pulling together to make sure that no one goes without a Christmas gift in between the never ending accounts of crimes and catastrophes.

            It’s deemed newsworthy that soldiers are reunited with their families on Christmas Eve.  Food banks and homeless shelters are flooded with volunteers.  Otherwise unconcerned citizens make efforts to smile and greet one another.  Love fills the atmosphere at Christmas and brings joy to the season.

            The radical love that produced Christmas is bittersweet.  Christmas began because of the separation of Jesus Christ from His Father as He came to earth as a baby.  I have never imagined what that separation felt like more than this Christmas when I am separated by heaven and earth from my beloved husband.    Our separation is my hope.  I know that heavenly living is what I was created for, and I long to join him there.  It was totally opposite when God the Father and God the Son were separated by heaven and earth.  Their separation stung with spiritual harshness.  While we recreate babies in a manger under the glow of a Christmas star, God the Father and God the Son faced the full force of man’s sin and the radical love that recreated the possibility of holiness once again. Ruth Myers describes is so beautifully using God’s word in her Book 31 Days of Praise.

I love You, Father because You first loved me and sent Your Son to atone for my sins.  And I stand amazed that Jesus, who by nature had always been God, did not cling to His rights as Your equal…that he laid aside all His privileges, to be born as a human being…that He totally humbled Himself, submitting to the death of a common criminal, enduring infinite humiliation and pain…that on the cross You laid on Him the compressed weight of all my sin and guilt and shame, all of my griefs and sorrows, and He became sin for me, dying the death I deserved (1 John 4:10; Phil. 2:6-9; Is. 53:3-12; 2 Cor. 5:21)[i]. 

Our affection for God transforms our spiritual lives.  As we open our souls to the love of God that is poured into our hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5); we begin to pray and stay connected to His life-changing love.  The Advent Season is a wonderful time to think about God’s great love demonstrated in the most radical form by becoming man, to live and die and rise again to pay for the sins that marked you for meaningless death.  Let your soul ascend through the love that penetrates the world at Christmas by acknowledging the source of this love.  The more you love Him, the greater you will feel His presence in your life and the more transformed to His likeness you will become.  Embrace the radical love poured over the universe at Christmas.

 Copyright © 2012.  Deborah R. Newman  All Rights Reserved.

[i] Ruth Myers, 31 Days of Praise, (Random House, Colorado Springs, CO: 1994), p. 46.


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