Devotion and Prayer for Week of December 1, 2013

Meditation for the week December 1, 2013

 

“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.”

                                                                                                                                                                             1 John 4:9

 

With the onset of the Advent season we see the beginning of the new “church year.”  All eyes turn toward Christmas and the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.  Familiar passages will spark memories of Christmas Sunday School programs past.  “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign:  the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel,” (Isaiah 7:14).  Or, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned,” (Isaiah 9:2).  Perhaps Luke 2 will put you into the “Christmas spirit”:  “In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world . . .” These are the verses from Scripture that make Christmas “Christmas” for many of us.

We don’t normally consider the above passage from 1 John to be a Christmas text, however, we should.  The birth of Christ marks the “sending of God’s love” into the world.  That is what Jesus was.  Through him God showed his love to the world which, when you think about it, was never very good at showing its love toward God.

Think of what the world has given God:  only a sordid record of rejection and rebellion.  Adam and Eve traded communion with God for a piece of fruit.  King David chose Bathsheba and murder over God’s holy will.  Peter, in denying our Lord not once but three times, chose safety over truth.  The list is endless, as mankind has responded to God’s goodness with centuries of sin.

Who could fault God if he decided to pour out his anger on man?  Who could fault God for sending the thunderbolts of his judgment through the skies?  No one could.

Yet, what did God send in reply to man’s rebellion?  He sent his one and only Son to be our Savior.  He sent his Son into a world, which had rejected him in order to show his love and to demonstrate his love and to demonstrate his desire to forgive us our transgressions.  He sent his Son to die as a sacrifice for all we had done wrong with no merit or worthiness at all on our part.

Christmas is all about the immeasurable love of God becoming flesh.  It’s about Jesus being born of a woman not for the mere sake of being born, but so that “we might live through him.”  And live through him we do as the gift of eternal life is given to all who believe.

As Christmas draws near, remember the love of God revealed to us in Christ Jesus.  For no greater gift has ever been given.

Have a joyous and blessed Christmas!

 

Our Weekly Prayer           

Most Holy God, as Christmas approaches we are reminded of the reason that you sent your son into the world and that in his coming, we are graciously given life in his name.  Help us always to honor this day that we might show forth to others the love that you have shown us that they too might have life in the name of Jesus.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.