Love and The Advent of Christ
It is the quest of every heart to love, and to be loved unconditionally in return. The Christmas story assures us that we begin our lives loved, and will end our lives loved – by God Himself.
Love is a big idea, and most of us would like to believe we understand it (even though we’re not so good at actually doing it). We love those closest to us or who are good to us, but then struggle to love those who hate us (as Jesus did), who are not like us (as Jesus did), or those who place a demand on our lives (like refugees or people in distress). In fact, the term “love” is used so loosely in our time that it simultaneously expresses affection, affinity, preference, physical attraction, emotional connection, and (perhaps least of all) – mutual commitment.
But here, on a silent night more than 2000 years ago, love is expressed in Luke 2:12-14 as God’s commitment to see an ancient promise through – a promise to right the wrongs of the world and to fix the greatest problem of the human heart – sin. Sin is us “missing the mark” of responding to God’s love for us. Since the Garden of Eden, we human beings have been looking for our own way, our own benefit, in the short years given to us. We hurt each other and take from each other (even in our homes) when all along we were designed to experience God’s “giving” love and to then redistribute that same love to others – even those who are very different from us.
God knew that love, real Love, modeled for us, revealed to us, touching us, filling us, and changing us, would fix the love-problem of the human heart. The plan was simple. A child, Jesus, would be born. His name would mean, “The Lord saves,” and he would show us exactly how to selflessly love one another. Not only would Jesus show us how to love one another; he would also endure the most extreme expression of love by suffering and dying for us – breaking the grip of sin and death over your life and mine.
In Jesus, we see that Love is constant and sacrificial– it never changes, fails, or keeps a record of wrongs. It always perseveres, it always withstands our greatest failures and successes, and reminds us we are loved because of who we are – not what we do. Jesus is ready to take your imperfections and mistakes into his healing hands right now if you will just surrender to his love. That is the true story of Christmas – that Christ’s love for you can teach you to love more fully than you’ve ever known.
The Christmas story is, at its very simplest, about the love of God pursuing you, and healing you. Ask God to help you surrender to His love, and to show you how to live in love (Ephesians 5:2) toward others.
Pastor Rick Bambrick
Rick has been in ministry for over 22 years with the majority of that time in volunteer positions serving the local church with a passion for sharing the Gospel. His greatest desire is to see people meet the living Jesus, take the life changing steps toward living the life Jesus has called them into. Rick will be celebrating 30 years of marriage to his bride, Dawn in 2019. Together they raised two amazing children whom are both married and serve Jesus in the local church as well. Rick currently serves Christ Community Church, the church he came to faith in, as the Co-Lead Pastor.