I’ve written on love before, but I find that each time I do, something new is revealed to me. In 1 John 4, we read that God is love. It doesn’t say that God feels love. It doesn’t say that God knows about love. It says that God is love. He didn’t just create it; it is actually a part of who he is. Deuteronomy 6 gives us God’s command, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (6:5). It was this command that the Israelites were instructed to write on their hearts and to teach their children. Because if you can do this, you can’t help but follow the other commands given.
The purpose of the law is to align us with God. Jesus expanded the original command to not only love God with all you are, but said, ” A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)
That is a huge command. How can we love other people to the same extent that God loves us? God loves us so much that he was willing to send his son into this broken world so that we might have hope. Jesus loves us so much that he died one of the most brutal deaths recorded in history so that we might be able to be redeemed through his perfect blood and live with God for all eternity. He had the power to call down legions of angels from heaven. He could have come of the cross and proven to all of the naysayers that he was in fact who he said he was. He could have, but he loves us too much. He knew what it would take for us to be forgiven. It took a perfect sacrifice. And that is why the Christmas story is such a beautiful picture of this love.
The cross was simply a tool. It wasn’t the ending scene; but the manger was the symbol of hope, of love, of joy, of perfection. God was born in the dingy and dirty stall of a barn to show that he wanted to be a part of every aspect of our lives. We don’t have to get our lives together before we come to Jesus, he wants us just as we are, covered in the dirt and grime of our sin because it is only He who is able to truly clean us. He loves us so much that he left the throne room of heaven to be born a helpless baby. That helpless baby, born in the still of night, is still the purest picture of love that exists.
If we seek to love like Jesus, opening our hearts to others, being vulnerable, imagine how pliable we will become. As we become pliable to the will of God, we will be shaped into a beautiful vessel to share that love and share the truth of who God is.