By Kristi Sullins
With a week to go until Christmas Day, many of us are on the hunt. On the hunt for the perfect gift, or the one that is always out of stock. On the hunt for a parking spot, a dog sitter, a pair of pants that still fit or maybe just one silent night to actually enjoy the thought of Christmas. If you find yourself on the hunt this Christmas, then you will appreciate this. God’s gift of love required no search.
On the night of Christ’s birth, God filled the heavens with His angels to proclaim to the shepherds that the Messiah had come. The shepherds told the people in town about all they saw. The coming of Christ was not kept in secret, hidden for only the knowledge of a select few.
It was not for the sake of prophecy that the message was shared, or to boast at the execution of the impossible. God shared with mankind the coming of His Son because the evidence of His love had come. We know that Christ is the very proof of God’s love because He tells us in His Word. 1 John 4:9 tells us that God’s sending His Son among us was proof of His love. John 3:16 reminds us that His love was so great that He gave us His only Son so that whoever would choose to believe would have eternal life. Romans 5:8 is His anthem of love to all those who feel like they are the exception to His gift because we are reminded that He loved us at our worst and still sent His Son.
There is no doubt the Christ in the manger was God’s physical evidence of love. This fact is important when you remember He came to a group of people who had been waiting for centuries. God had been quiet. Holding on to hope had been a struggle. All the Israelites knew was that life was hard, and not turning out how they thought. What had happened to the covenant given to Abraham? Where was the land flowing with milk and honey? It was hard to look at life and see proof that God did love them.
Can you identify with that?
When things don’t go the way we had planned or the struggle feels like it is too much we can question God’s love. When tragedy strikes we struggle to reason how God can let it happen and still say He loves us. We want proof of His love.
Maybe that is why He opened the heavens that night. So proof could be seen; the evidence shared.
The coming of Christ was God’s visible evidence for all generations that He loves us, and that His love is so great He withheld nothing, sending a very piece of the Godhead to us.
Don’t look for evidence of God’s love in your circumstance or current reality. Hold tightly to the manger and cross as proof that the love God has for us is greater than our realities, failures or fears. It is His free gift to us. A gift of redemption, belonging, security and eternity for all who would choose to believe.