Christmas is a time for remembering. We remember a young virgin, hardly more than a child, who abandoned herself to the Lord to bear His Son before she was even married. We remember her young fiancée who obediently married her, even though he could hardly understand what was going on. We remember the Child born in a stable. We remember the angels visiting shepherds in the field. All of these images flood our hearts and minds with cherished memories. I would like to propose one more very important thing that needs to be remembered at Christmas time.
We are Loved
Among all the things we remember during this festive time of year, we also need to take a moment and remember that we are loved by the Ultimate Lover: God Himself. This might immediately bring to mind a familiar verse of Scripture.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 ESV
A more literal translation of this verse is found in The New Living Translation.
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
God loved the world by giving us the greatest gift possible. He commissioned Heaven’s Darling to lay aside privileges that were rightfully His and accept the limitations of walking among us as a man (Philippians 2:5 – 8). He did this because we were perishing under the guilt and condemnation of our sins, having lived our lives in complete and utter rebellion against the God who created us. Only God’s Son could provide the sacrifice necessary to save us from this fate and restore us back to a right relationship with our Heavenly Father. But why would God do this?
Because He is Love
It certainly wasn’t because we loved God. We didn’t love Him at all. From the time our first parents sinned, we have done everything possible to dethrone God and erase Him from our lives. Yet He loved us, nonetheless. Look at 1st John 4:9 – 10.
9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. NLT
Even though we deserved nothing but His just condemnation, He sent His Son to bring about our reconciliation. While we may shake our heads in dumb wonder at such a selfless act, we really shouldn’t be surprised. How could God do anything else? God is love, and love acts to bring about the highest good for its object without any thought of return. Risky? Definitely. Worth it? Absolutely! Amazing? Beyond all doubt.
With all the myriad memories that flow through our minds at Christmas time, let us not forget that Christmas is God’s declaration of His unfathomable love for us. After all, it was Christmas that made it possible for you and and I to live in the Reign.