Thursday, December 25, 2014
1John 3:1 See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. 3 And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
The birth of a little child made the adoption of others possible. God the Father in his overwhelming love for all of humanity continually reaches out, trying to draw us back into his loving arms. Children who have wandered off, far away from him have sold their birthright, and yet, he does not want to abandon them. God stretches out in our direction with love which pours from his very being, offering to one and all adoption into the family. The past can be forgiven, the sold birthright repurchased and the inheritance restored. His love is lavished on his children.
His children are transformed by his holy love and they take on a family resemblance. The older brother, the one who came and was born in a humble setting among the animals, he is the one we are to follow. Seeing Christ gives us a glimpse of what is ahead and we will be like him if we follow in his footsteps. And all along the way, love is disclosed as it pours from the very nature of the incarnate God. God is with us — Emmanuel — love revealed.
Today we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. But that word “Savior” sometimes creates a bit of a distance between him and us. Jesus didn’t come to create distance — but to close the gap! This is the love we are to understand. Jesus didn’t just come to “save” us, but God loves us so much he wants to save, and adopt us into his family. When we celebrate the birth of the baby, we are celebrating the birth of the one who makes our adoption possible.
There is so much more to what God has done for us than we often realize. His desire is not just a snatching away or saving from destruction, but he wants us to enjoy the benefits of transformation and adoption into his family. Jesus came, pure and holy, so that we too could be pure and holy. That’s the family resemblance.
Today love is revealed in a tiny baby who makes it possible for everything to be different. His birth signals the pathway into a new family — God’s family. It’s not just the holy family of Mary, Joseph and the baby that we see today, but God revealed with arms wide open, loving and adopting us. The baby is born today, and we may now be called children of God. This is love revealed. Let us celebrate!
Lord, thank you will never be enough for what you have done for me. Amen.