Have you heard or watched the Muppets and CeeLo Green sing “All I Need is Love“? They recognize that Christmas is not all about the presents and bling – it’s really all about love. Yes, they focus a little too much on Santa, but the core message about love is spot on.
We started talking about a love song. Now, let’s talk now about a real love story. Isn’t our culture full of both? Not just today, but through much of history. Think about all the creative energy that has been devoted to writing love stories, poetry, love letters, and love songs. If you start with the songs and movies and stories we know in our time and start scrolling back through history through the novels and poems and plays and epics, the list would go on and on and on and on. It seems that people, down through the ages, have been inspired and moved and confused and intrigued and motivated by love—and trying to understand it (mostly men, right?). The Hallmark movies tap into these romantic themes of love and Christmas. Throw in a Christmas tree farm or a toy store and you have a winner!
Have you ever thought of the story of Mary & Joseph as a real love story? But, just because the culture and traditions of those ancient days looked different from ours doesn’t mean that there wasn’t deep love flowing between this historic couple—and possibly even romance. Mary and Joseph’s is a true human love story, but it is also a supernatural love story that involves you and me and every human who has walked or will ever walk this earth.
God Is Love
The apostle John said it most simply and best: God is love. He wrote in 1 John 4:16, “So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (esv).
This is the nature of our God. Love in its purest form.
God Gives Love
The love of God with Us is God’s perfect love in human form that we celebrate. And this is the love that knows exactly what we need, no matter what we are facing in this season. Whether it’s support from or restoration to another person or whether it’s an encounter with the God of the miraculous that you need, God’s love is with us. It is here for you. And it is making a way to accomplish God’s work in your life.
As mind-blowing as it is, God’s love is eternal. It’s as never-ending as God Himself. It was. It is now. It will be. And He will never stop demonstrating His love in tangible ways that are both daily occurrences and history-changing events like Christ’s birth.
Eventually, all things we know will come to an end at some point: the good, the bad, and life itself. But one thing remains: God’s love never fails. This is the love that God with Us lived out before us, and He will hold us forever and ever and ever, just as the hopeful words of Paul in Romans 8:38–39 remind us: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
God’s Love Flows Through Us
Like any true, God-written love story, Mary and Joseph’s love didn’t end with themselves. It was built upon the foundation of God’s perfect, supernatural love, and they trusted God and followed Him on a crazy ride, unlike anyone else’s in history. And when they opened their hearts to God’s love, He allowed it to flow right through them as a small current in a overwhelming ocean—and this is the same one that sweeps us up.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.”
– John 3:16-17 (ESV)
Knowing about God’s love is the starting point, but believing in Jesus Christ the Son of God sent to pay for our sins, is accepting God’s love. That’s when new life begins and a relationship with God is possible. If you have never accepted God’s gift of salvation, please come talk to me today. This will be your best Christmas ever as part of His family.
“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
– 1 John 4:9-11 (NIV)
That love we receive from God is meant to flow through our thankful hearts to impact those around us. To love them with the love of God. Others will know you love God if you love one another. Spend some time making a list of ways you can demonstrate love to those around you. God put you in a specific family, workplace, school, neighborhood to impact those specific people and show them the glory of God in His love pouring out through you.
“Above all, put on love which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”