Skip to main content

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.


Popular posts from this blog

You Shall Not Be Overcome

I distinctly remember sending this quote by Julian of Norwich to a recently widowed friend of mine over ten years ago.  You will not be overcome.
God did not say you will not be troubled,
You will not be belaboured,
You will not be disquieted;
But God said, You will not be overcome.
The quote in one of my devotional books for July 23, which marks the day I became a widow myself is by the same author.  “One day God spoke to me and I heard these words, “you won’t be overcome.”  God wants us to pay attention to His words.  God wants us to be strong in our certainty in Him, always, both in good times and in bad.  The Lord loves us, and God so enjoys our company.  God loves being with us and wants us to love Him and enjoy being with Him and trust Him completely, and all will be well.”  As I write this six years since his death I can attest to the reality that all will be well.  God chose to bless me with a second marriage to a wonderful man who holds my hand through this hur…

The Worst

What is the worst thing you think could happen to you?  There are so many options in a fallen world that it is hard to consider the worst.  We try not to think about it.  We do think we are going through the worst thing when we lose a loved one, are betrayed by a friend or family, sent to prison, or become the victim of a crime.  You know the worst thing that has happened to you.  You can think of someone for whom you are grateful that what happened to that person didn’t happen to you.               The world is full of frightening and dreaded options of worst case scenarios.  When you read the Bible, it is not hard to decide what the worst thing that could happen in your lifetime would be.  The Bible makes it clear that the worst is that you do not believe in the Son of God, Jesus Christ, and be saved.               That sounds like a Sunday School answer doesn’t it?  It doesn’t feel that bad to say “No Thank You” to God.  Many don’t even recognize the day that they to…

Repenting for My Worship

Psalm 51: 15-17 describes true worship: Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.
               The Lenten Season shoves in our faces the reality of who God is.  He is the God who killed His Son to conquer death for the humans He had formed with His hands in love.  What kind of God does that?  What kind of God creates heavens and earths, all the while knowing that the inhabitants could turn on Him in an instant? He had the power to destroy everything He created, yet finds a way to allow all the inhabitants to have their own way, either to follow Him or follow their own will?  He is the GREAT I AM.  He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  He is worthy of all praise.  He created us to bring Him praise (Isaiah 43:21).  He declares that His Son is worthy of even higher prai…