Christmas Is About Love
I love Christmas. Hands up who loves Christmas? Hands up who thinks Christmas is a little bit meh? Hands up who really doesn’t like Christmas? Hopefully I can persuade you why Christmas is a good thing.
What if I told you that Christmas isn’t about presents, or commercialism, or stuff. I mean I’m a minister, so you’d probably expect me to say that. In fact most of us already know that, Christmas isn’t about presents. What is Christmas about then? It’s about love. What if I told you that Christmas is about God’s love for you, each and every one of you.
The reason I love Christmas is because it’s a time of year when love between people is so obvious, people out buying gifts, thinking of others, spending time with families and loved ones, in the same way God’s love for us is so clear too.
The baby Jesus being born is not just a distant event from a long time ago, but affects us today. You might remember the words to O Little Town of Bethlehem ‘But in thy dark streets shineth, the everlasting light, the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.’
God came into time and space, and met us where we were, and as that baby cried in the manger, God cried that he had come closer to us than ever before.
At the heart of this time of year is the Love between people and families, but even more so for Christians, is the love of God that pulls us in. God’s love doesn’t let go, God says your pain is my pain, I want to share my love and my light with you. Because God loves us so much, he don’t force us to be with Him, we are free to choose. God isn’t the kind of cruel and malicious king, that smashes us into bits if we don’t do what he wants, but he scoops us up, and saves us from ourselves.
What the birth of Jesus means, is that God knows how it feels to be a person, as intimately as possible, because He was one. God knows how you feel because He was born lived and died as a person. There is no situation that God doesn’t understand, or know. God shares in our pain, and He shares in our joy too. It’s so amazing that God decided to come to us, as a human child. The hands that created the universe, that flung stars into space, had to learn how to grasp, how to make and create. God chose to be with us, and is still with us now.
So dare I say it, forget about the presents, forget about the booze (which is something admittedly I struggle with). Forget about the turkey and the mince pies, even though they are delicious. All the stuff in the world can never satisfy what we need, what we crave, and that is Love. If you forget everything else this Christmas remember this, God loves you, and that love was fulfilled by Jesus being born. The love that you feel for one another, is a drop in the ocean compared to the love that God has for you.
It doesn’t matter who you are, or what you’ve done, it doesn’t matter what skin colour you are or what your gender is. God loves you, and in the baby Jesus, God is with us. God’s grace is so utterly beyond anything we can imagine, and that’s what Christmas means to me. Love, Grace and Hope.
My hope and prayer is that we may all feel and know God’s love for us, and all of humanity at this special time of year. A very Merry Christmas to you, God bless you.
Preached at St Peter Mancroft Church,