Love For the World
Jesus was not born into this world so that God could love the world. Jesus was born into this world because God so loved the world. The very nature of Jesus’ birth reveals the nature of God: vulnerable, humble and present with us, with all people and with all creation. As St. Paul told the Colossians, “For in [Jesus] all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things….”
The words, “I love you” change everything in life. And in Jesus’ birth we learn that the first “I love you” comes from God. While God has always loved the world Jesus was and is God’s living proclamation of love for all that God has made. I like the way that Pastor Paul Dean from our staff recently put it,
To believe in Jesus is to believe that God starts with love but also ends with love. Our relationship with God begins with our first breath, breathing in the deep love that saturates the space that is our relationship with God….opening our realities to a salvation that is here and now. The power of love is not reserved for some future time or for a select group of people but makes our reality, our daily existence, different right here and right now.
Chances are good that in the coming week you’re going to see lots of manger scenes with Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, shepherds and angels. Despite the busyness of the season I urge you to pause before each one, just for a moment, to both hear and believe the whisper of Christmas for you and for the world: I love you.
Want to go deeper? Check out this week’s discussion guide here.
Wishing you and yours a blessed Christmas filled with comfort and joy!
Pastor Jeff Marian is Lead Pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville, MN