The Love of God Revealed in and Through Jesus – Greg Albrecht
The significance and meaning of Christmas is critically important – it is far too easy to miss the forest of the gospel while tunnel vision focuses on trivialities such as a Christmas tree. The Christmas tree serves as an example of the less than monumental and momentous aspects of the birth of Jesus, fitting the idiom of “don’t miss the forest for the tree.” There are many trivial pursuits and distractions aren’t there? The meals, the gifts, the music … an endless list of diversions that detour us away from the Christ-centered forest of faith.
The Apostle John provides Christ-centered focus: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning … The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1,14).
When all is said and done, the incarnation – the embodiment of divinity in the person of Jesus – is the beginning of the full revelation of God. Jesus, the eternal Word of God, came to be with us and one of us and he came to reveal the love of God, which is beyond human comprehension. He came into the mud and filth of our world, then and now, to bring the good news that God really does love us.
The good news is that God is for us, not against us. The good news is that God loves us, he is not mad at us. The good news is that God is filled with love, not wrath. The good news in this world so awash with hatred and division and acrimony is that God loves us even though humanity at large doesn’t seem to love him very much, or for that matter, even know where to start accepting the beauty and good news of the gospel that God really does love humanity.
The good news is that the birth of Jesus is the beginning – from his birth, to his teaching, to his cross and then to his resurrection. The good news continues after his bodily resurrection, as he lives his life in us, as our risen Lord, so that we who trust, believe in and follow him, are actually one with him and he with us. The first coming is followed by his Second Coming. What good news that is to our world here in the last days of 2023!
Those who have listened to and read my humble attempts to share a Christ-centered faith know of my love and respect of the writings of Frederick Buechner. Here from his book “The Magnificent Defeat” is a short summary he offers, defining and explaining love. I pray you will find it uplifting and inspiring as we all focus on The Love of God Revealed in and Through Jesus.
“THE LOVE FOR equals is a human thing—of friend for friend, brother for brother. It is to love what is loving and lovely. The world smiles.
The love for the less fortunate is a beautiful thing—the love for those who suffer, for those who are poor, the sick, the failures, the unlovely. This is compassion, and it touches the heart of the world.
The love for the more fortunate is a rare thing—to love those who succeed where we fail, to rejoice without envy with those who rejoice, the love of the poor for the rich, of the black man for the white man. The world is always bewildered by its saints.
And then there is the love for the enemy—love for the one who does not love you but mocks, threatens, and inflicts pain. The tortured’s love for the torturer. This is God’s love. It conquers the world.”