Adapted from Advent readings prepared 12/2018 for The HUB Church, Roseville CA
Christmas is a beautiful season of giving, of sharing, of soaking up reds, greens, silvers, and golds. Love reigns at Christmas: the ones we love most gather near to us and we are filled with tenderness toward our neighbor. Time seems to stand still in moments of warmth and togetherness, laughter and light, and we long to bottle the Christmas spirit and cling tightly to it, to glean it all and fill our storehouses. But no matter how hard we try, we cannot take hold of all of the goodness and wonder of this time of year and like sand through our fingers, Christmas is over almost as soon as it begins. Sometimes we look to Christmas for what we really need from Christ himself. Because what our hearts are truly craving this time of year is love, and Love came down at Christmas.
Our hearts are wired for a love that never fails, and at the heart of the Christmas story is steadfast love. This is Agape love – the love of a God who remembers His creation, the love of a Father who cares for His children, the love of Christ Immanuel – God with us – a perfect baby born to live and serve alongside His people. Jesus tells us in John 15:13 that greater love has no one than this: to lay down his life for his friends. This is the divine love that sent His only son to be a spotless lamb for us, and the love of the spotless lamb who was obedient unto the cross. At Christmas, we bask in the wonder of this truth: that to us a child is born, and it’s all because God so loved the world.
Father, so often we forget what the true meaning of Christmas is amidst our busy schedules and hectic lives. And often we hear the word “love” and it feels watered
down or devoid of meaning. Remind us in the depths of our souls what it means that You love us with the kind of love that makes us Your children. Help us live like Your Son Jesus and be devoted to one another in love. Please use the magic of Christmas to bring us closer to You, the source of all good things, the greatest being love. Amen.