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Let the Wonder In

The Wonder of His Love

Are you one who can easily let the wonder of God’s love come in at Christmas?

The Christmas message of God giving us His Son Jesus can often be eclipsed, and not just because of the busyness, presents, or even Santa. But something even more important is lost during Christmas.  

The Wonder of His Love

Are you one who can easily let the wonder of God’s love come in at Christmas?

The Christmas message of God giving us His Son Jesus can often be eclipsed, and not just because of the busyness, presents, or even Santa. But something even more important is lost during Christmas.  

Something much deeper– the wonder of God’s amazing love for us.

Perhaps you were blessed with a warm, loving childhood, and the wealth of memories from Christmases past leaves you feeling full of joy and cheer. For many, even just the word “Christmas” or a carol playing conjures up images warm enough they could be sold on a Hallmark card!  

However, for many others, Christmas recalls memories that dredge up dark times and feelings of despair. The sights and sounds of Christmas may be a painful portrayal of family fights, broken promises, and loneliness.  Memories may be buried but leave a trail of betrayal and hurt.

Oh, How He Loves You and Me

Another message so often lost during Christmas is that the journey of Jesus doesn’t begin with Christmas. It began in eternity past.

 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning” (John 1: 1-2).

This past Sunday Chuck Swindoll’s message from John 1, Philippians 2, and Colossians 1 brought the all-too-familiar Christmas message to a deeper level again with these words: Jesus didn’t have to come. He was with God the Father from eternity past and yet He chose to be born in a stable and die on a cross. Why?

Love.  A word we throw around so casually all the time.  

 ‘Love you!’ “Oh, I just love that song, sweater, soup….!”  

So how can we even begin to grasp the power, depth, and provision of this kind of love shown to us by God?

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16-17

But Chuck takes the idea beyond our comfortable church-every-Sunday level and challenges us with this question: “Do you ever just let God love you?”

Heart of Christmas is Love

This may be the real Christmas challenge, the one we forget and secretly struggle with daily.  Not just that Jesus is the ‘Reason for the Season’ but that God’s love is behind it all.  The warmth, the joy, the happy memories – they all come from one Source. We need to simply accept the gift of His love and let Him love us.

Yet it is one we forget so easily.  And sometimes it is not just Santa that distracts us. Instead we get wrapped up in, well, wrapping, for one! Then there is the endless list of parties, shopping, programs and newsletters, and every other well-meaning distraction.

Because all of that still misses out on the deeper message: He didn’t have to come. But He did– out of an unfathomable depth of love. (Ephesians 3:17-19)

That’s a difficult message for us to grasp.  Even after decades of being a believer, I know I still struggle with it.  Santa is much easier.  So is the cute little baby and wonderful story of His birth.

But the real heart of Christmas is the love that started it all, way back before Mary and Joseph got turned down for a place to stay in Bethlehem.

Christmas Challenge

It’s also the message for us to share with those around us — especially the ones hurting who need it the most. You know—the not-so-lovables? Perhaps like the scraggly shepherds that God chose to send His angels to long ago. (Luke 2:8-20)

God wants us to heal the brokenhearted and to set the captives free (Isaiah 61:1, Luke 4:18).  He wants to shake us and remind us why Jesus came at all: I LOVE YOU, He shouts!  But all-too-often we can’t hear Him over Santa’s sleigh bells and carols about baby Jesus.

The Bible is a book of love, God’s desire for a love relationship with us, and the gift of His Son.  How can we stretch outside our comfort zone, go beyond the commercial ‘reach out and touch someone’, and truly love someone this Christmas?  (1 John 3:23, 1 John 4:7-11)

Oh, and don’t forget to let the wonder of God’s miraculous love in to bless you this Christmas.

jodycapehart.com

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