Christianity, Christmas Dailies, Uncategorized

Love Manifest (Tuesday)

 

Adoration of the Shepherds by Gerrard van Honthorst
 
(As an aside: you can find Sunday’s reading here. And the link to last week’s readings here. Monday was a catch up day and this is Tuesday’s reading. I will be publishing this week daily) 

This year we have been reading the Jesus Storybook Bible for advent. It is a beautiful children’s bible that does an excellent job of showing the overarching gospel narrative that connects all of the biblical books. It starts off this way “No, the Bible isn’t a book of rules or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a Story. It’s an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It’s a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne—everything—to rescue the one he loves. It’s like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life! You see, the best thing about this story is—it’s true. There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling one Big Story. The Story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them. It takes the whole Bible to tell this Story and at the center of the Story, there is a baby. Every Story in the Bible whispers his name. He is like the missing piece in a puzzle—the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together and suddenly you can see a beautiful picture.”

As it mentions the entire Bible is full of failed romantic comedies, failed heroes, and failed leaders. Our ancient forefathers prove time and time again (along with human history too if we are honest about that) how we couldn’t love each other, love God, or love others well. We could not fulfill our purpose to love God and make His glory known. Instead, we needed God to come to show us love and he does so by becoming love for us. Christmas celebrates the entrance of the leading man in this story: Jesus. 

One of the most beautiful things about Christmas is the incarnation, which is the theological word for God becoming man. Jesus’s name (Emmanuel) literally means God with us. Jesus is love incarnate, love manifest. He is the image of God perfectly displayed in man. We know the love of God because we know Jesus. He is our real, physical, tangible love. As Piper said in his definition of love that I shared in the last post, Jesus becoming man shows how he “labored and suffered to enthrall us with what is infinitely and eternally satisfying: God.”

John the apostle explains these ideas here: “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this love Hod was made manifest among is, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.”  I John 4: 7-9

There is much to rejoice in. The long awaited love of our hearts is here and he’s real. 

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