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Love | Advent 2020

December 11, 2020 Kay Burnett Spiritual Growth

“Born in a stable He came here for me
Born of a virgin He came here for me
God's only son come to set the world free,
Born of God's love and He came here for me.


Over a stable a star shone so bright,
Guiding three wise men who rode through the night
He was called baby Jesus, He came here for me,
Born to this world, then He died here for me.”[1]



The Christmas story almost shouts to the world that God loves us, and He loves us to an infinite, supernatural, and unfathomable degree. Theologian and author, J.I. Packer, wrote,


For the Son of God to empty himself and become poor meant a laying aside of glory; a voluntary restraint of power; an acceptance of hardship, isolation, ill-treatment, malice, and misunderstanding; finally, a death that involved such agony—spiritual even more than physical—that his mind nearly broke under the prospect of it. It meant love to the uttermost for unlovely men . . .[2]


Love to the uttermost . . . the truth that God the Creator, Jesus the Savior, grew for nine months in the womb of a young teenage virgin mother is stunning. He burst from the womb into a cave, gasping for his first breath among the stabled animals. He willingly suffered hunger, poverty, pain, rejection, and disdain, with the ultimate purpose of dying for people who might never believe in Him. The revelation of a love this deep should flood our souls with overwhelming gratefulness!


As emotional human beings, we easily grow too familiar with the word “love” and its true meaning becomes diluted. But love—real love—emanates from God himself and is anything but small, shallow, or earthly. Christmas is the perfect time to reflect on God’s love and to consider how we might love Him in return and share His love with others.


Take some time to sit in a quiet place and consider the enormity of Immanuel—God with us. We pray you grasp in a new way, through the power of His Christmas story, just how much He truly loves you.


“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20, NIV).


    [1] Composed by Ron Nelson (1929-). Boosey & Hawkes Sacred Choral. American, Classical, Contemporary. Octavo. 4 pages. Boosey & Hawkes #M051453719. Published by Boosey & Hawkes (HL.48003420).


    [2]J.I. Packer, Knowing God (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1993), 63, as quoted in Tim Keller, Hidden Christmas, the Surprising Truth Behind the Birth of Christ (New York, NY: Penguin Random House LLC, 2018), 49.