Wednesday, December 01, 2010

He Became One of Us

Ah, Christmas! That season of nostalgia, anticipation, gifts and smiles. Of snow, lights, trees, and ornaments. Oh, and also of manger scenes, camels, sheep, a donkey, and infant Jesus! It's also a time for frustration, disappointments, loneliness, regrets, and fear. God save us from our holidays!

Christians always need the reminder to focus on Jesus during the Christmas festivities. We remember the Incarnation - God taking on flesh to become one of us. We consider how God came down to us, how love came down to us - how it all looked a lot like Jesus of Nazareth. The journey. The travel. Not just from the far reaches of the Heavens, but also across the wilderness to Bethlehem.

We need to be reminded of what this love looks like, especially at Christmas.

The ancient Christians had a song they often used in worship which reminded them of the Incarnation - part of it went like this:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
It doesn't rhyme, and it doesn't have a catchy chorus, but it reminds us of that crucial truth we need - God became one of us in Jesus of Nazareth.

Have you heard the Matt Maher song? Love Comes Down says it well:
Isn't it beautiful? Isn't it marvelous?
The God of the Universe, He became one of us.
We cry out, and love comes down again...

Take a listen:

It can be too easy to get confused on what love is supposed to look like. We can hold lofty ideals in our head and heart about what we want it to look like. But Jesus demonstrates for us what love really does look like. Jesus is what God looks like as one of us. The love that Jesus gave away is the kind of love that God wants us to give away. This kind of love is generous, sacrificial, all-embracing, forgiving, up-lifting, coming-along-side, strength-offering, listening, being-with, beautiful. We need this kind of love. Especially at Christmas.

During this Advent season (the four weeks leading up to Christmas Day), it's worth looking inside yourself: who in my life needs me to love them with true Christmas love? Who needs Incarnated love - the kind of love that God gives to people through people...?

And what does God want me to do next in order to give this kind of love? Especially to those that are hard to love, hard to like, hard to get along with, hard to accept, hard to appreciate, hard to ignore, hard to live with.

The God of the Universe, He became one of us - to show us how to love. 
Especially at Christmas.

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