Over 30 years ago, our family Christmas celebration included the birth of our youngest son. We attended concerts and dinner parties with our infant son in tow. He was “baby Jesus” in the Christmas program that year, and thankfully, he slept through the entire program. I especially treasure one picture we have of him looking at the sparkling white lights on the Christmas tree. Yes, it’s true – a picture speaks a thousand words. The memory of his sweet face and two small eyes gazing intently toward the light are treasures in my mother’s heart.
Take a step back in time with me and think about a young couple arriving in Bethlehem. This woman found herself giving birth to her first-born son in a stable – probably a limestone cave. And within a short amount of time, an unlikely band of guests arrived to view her tiny infant. The angels had reported his birth and instructed the shepherds to go, seek, and find him.
“For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” ~Luke 2:11-12
This story in Luke’s gospel reveals the responses of numerous people as the news of this baby’s arrival spread. First, we read about the shepherds. After finding the baby, they went out to share the good news. Next, we see Mary’s response to the birth of her son. She was caught in the sacred awe of this event. Her heart held each precious piece closely. Then, we are told the shepherds went out praising and worshipping God.
“When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.” ~Luke 2:17-20
So what is our response to this amazing gift of love? We can tell others about God’s Son, Jesus. God the Father loves us so much that He sent His only Son so that we might have eternal life. Let’s also set aside time to ponder His amazing example of sacrificial love. He chose to leave heaven and take on human flesh – to become a vulnerable, weak infant who needed a mother to care for him. This child grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men (see Luke 2:52). Jesus’ life on earth provides a perfect example for us to emulate. He loved well and walked in complete obedience to His heavenly Father.
I am very thankful for a Savior who loves me and wants me to draw near to Him. He knows me intimately and He calls me into sweet, intimate fellowship with Him. Each of us matters to Him. His love is genuine, sincere, trustworthy, and legitimate. Find some quiet moments to reflect on His love this week. He is the glorious love of heaven — come to earth to dwell among men.
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” ~Lamentations 3:22-23
Prayer excerpt from Daily Blessings by Susie Larson
May you recapture the wonder and the awe of this season. YOU are someone Jesus loves, profoundly so. You are someone He sings over, delights in, and plans for. May you marvel that He came to earth to save you, restore you, and use you in ways that are beyond what you’ve ever imagined. Take time to notice Him in the small sacred spaces of life. He’s there. He invites you.
Enjoy listening to this song during your worship time – How Glorious the Love of Heaven