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Monday, December 02, 2013

Christmas is Divine Love

By Rick Blumenberg / @rickblumenberg

God’s love was first expressed in creation, but revealed most graphically when Christ entered time through the portal of a mother’s womb, and burst into our world in the quiet of a feeding manger in a small mid-eastern town called Bethlehem. That love continues to be revealed in the actions of God today, most of them expressed in the lives of those who love and serve him. The revelation of God’s love at that first Christmas was most vividly revealed when God announced his love for all mankind through songs of praise by the angelic host, ringing out to the whole world, and immediately following in the cry of a newborn babe—a cry so quiet it only reached a few feet and was only heard by a very few people. But that cry began something so spectacular that we celebrate it every year in this event we call Christmas. It was the most powerful expression of the love of God the world has ever heard.

That baby’s first cry became a globe-encircling chorus of voices, where God speaks in the sermons of ministers, yes, but often even more vividly in the kindness of ordinary people—perhaps the patience of a teacher with a pupil struggling to learn. Or maybe in the efforts of business people who do their best to give their customers excellent products at reasonable prices, thus paying the labor of countless workers who brought it to market. Expressions of God’s love are so numerous we could never mention them all. And that is exactly what God planned.

It was not God’s will that a Bethlehem baby’s cry be the world’s greatest expression of Divine love even if it was Jesus. God wanted it to begin a chorus of untold millions by ordinary humans who do the right thing as best they can in all the tumult of life. The amazing thing about Christmas is that it began a time when God would not only be high and lifted up in glory, majesty and power (as he always is), but it also heralded the era in the world’s history when the efforts of humanity to do good and be good would be assisted by the God-child who became, not only the best man who ever lived, but the firstborn of a race of Christs—men and women who love God and by faith allow God’s Holy Spirit to live in and through them in the ordinary situations of life so God’s love is revealed rightly to all with whom they come in contact.

Christmas also expresses God’s confidence in his human creation. I could never give one of my daughters to a poor family in a remote Bethlehem village where the world teems with evil and cruelty, but God did. Out of genuine love for humanity and the knowledge that nothing else could save us, God’s love was so great He willingly came to this primitive earth as a Son, being first an immeasurably tiny, but divinely fertilized speck of an egg, in the womb of a youthful virgin, to whose care Jesus would be entrusted for all his young life.

And then, when Jesus had done the work he came to do (provide for our salvation) he once again left the greatest task in human history to a motley crew that could only succeed by the grace of God. Fortunately they learned quickly that God’s grace was all they needed. As we begin this Christmas season let’s remember we are all recipients of that marvelous grace and for us too, it’s precisely what we need.

I'm Rick Blumenberg . . . and that's My View from Tanner Creek.

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