The Love of Advent: Immanuel!
“Behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people, for unto you a Savior is born, who is Christ the Lord!”
Immanuel, God with us, is here. The waiting, the preparing, the longing, the pain, the struggle, the journey, the stable, all of it fades away as we encounter a holy God in the form of a small, vulnerable baby, wrapped in a swaddling clothes, placed in a manger by a virgin mother and a protective father.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. And from his fullness we have all received grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
– John 1:14-17
The beauty of it all is that God came here for the rescue of all. He made himself known in the form of a baby, who became a child, who became a carpenter, who became a rabbi, who became our sin, who conquered death. And it all started in this cry of a baby entering the world, changing everything, and we can never be the same having experienced the grace and truth that is Jesus Christ.
As I think through Advent, and the hope, peace, joy, and love of the birth of Jesus Christ, there is no better description than “grace upon grace.” Christmas is heaps of grace poured over the gift of grace we have already received, and will receive. And the beauty of Christmas is that it is not the end of the story. We know how it will play out, how it will lead to the cross, where once again, we will experience Christ pouring out grace upon grace out of perfect love.
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
– John 15:13
Today and each day, may you encounter the love that has been shown to you, may it fill you with hope to go into a world longing for peace and experience joy that can only come from the love of Jesus Christ. This Christmas, may you experience grace upon grace.