Do you feel more love at Christmas? According to most pop-cultural definitions out there, “Christmas is all about love.” Makes sense. But this response begs the question: Why is Christmas about love? Here is where the wheels come off the responses.
Again, the answers look good:
“Well, family is about love, and Christmas is about being with family.”
“Peace on earth is what we need and for that to happen, the world needs love.”
“Christmas reminds us that we just need to love each other.”
No argument there, but these responses are bankrupt without the origin of Christmas love. Without the origin, these responses are weakly aspirational at best.
One of the Bible’s most favorite verses is John 3:16. There we find that Christmas is about love because love came down from heaven. That love is the whole reason we have Christmas in the first place. The meaning of Christmas is found in the message of Christmas: “God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Coming to the earth, Jesus, this manifestation of God’s love for the world, made His home among men. Leaving the familiarity of His Father’s side, it certainly must not have felt like home. Unwelcomed, Jesus must have felt far from home indeed.
Christmas reminds us that it didn’t start that way. For four hundred years since the last prophetic words from their Bibles, the vastness of humanity was left in darkness. Yet even there, God had placed people who were longing for the light of His arrival. Jesus was born with appropriate but limited fanfare and a curiosity that sparked the hope of this waiting world. If His arrival was expected, He would soon grow up and do things shockingly unexpected. The rejection faced by Jesus only punctuates the exclusive nature of His love for us. The Father who gave His son for us at Christmas also gave Him up for us at Calvary. This is what love is all about at Christmas.
Join us this weekend as we start the Christmas message series, “Fresh from Heaven. Far from Home.”