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.
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.
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.
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.
Bridgman, Michigan, Southwest Michigan, United States
Author of three books:
"The Prayer Support System: A plan to Strengthen the Local Church",
"Let's Get Down to Basics: An Introduction to Christian Living", and
"Standing with the Saints: A History of Yellow Creek Lake Camp/Ministry Center and Congregations of the church of God in Northern Indiana".