Imagine being there in the beginning. Watching God ordain night and day. Hearing Him speak forth mountains and animals. Witnessing mankind being made. Imagine hovering there and breathing it in.
Imagine watching mankind fall. Feeling your heart fall with them. Their innocence, gone. Their troubles merely starting. The hope and peace and joy you felt fade as your dazzling creation trekked away through sin and self-inflicting pain.
Imagine them trying their best and waiting expectantly. So many of them. Hearing them pray. Watching them obey. Knowing that they believed (and rightfully so) that the ways of sacrifice would one day change. Knowing (sadly) that their expectations didn’t match what would become reality.
Imagine the bustle in heaven. Angels flying off to bring messages. Looking at Mary and Joseph lovingly. Seeing how different they were compared to how they would soon be.
Imagine being born. Laid in a manger and being surrounded by animals that you heard being spoken into existence. Living in Creation instead of watching it. Knowing it intimately before but now being a part of it. Being in the form of something you witnessed being formed. Looking up at the stars and moon you saw being separated from the sun and daytime.
Imagine loving something so much that you’d look past all its failures and faults – past, present, and future – in order to become that creation to save them.
That baby in a manger was love a long time coming.
God’s love is a love that doesn’t give up. No matter how far gone mankind was or what we’d done or how much we tried to run from God, He still loved us to the extent that He was willing to send His own Son for us. A human manifestation of part of the Godhead. Selfless, noble, pure, devoted love.
The scene that we picture when we read of the birth of Jesus is a pleasant and peaceful one. I in no way want to detract from that itself, but that scene should also be looked at for what is was on a timeline. Humanity was a sinful mess. When they fell, it was hard and the first of countless falls. They couldn’t redeem themselves. And that’s why Jesus came. He was more than the hope of the Israelites. He was the hope of all humanity. The joy we greet the Christmas season with as believers comes from realizing that.
How obvious is the love of Christ to you this Christmas season? Do you see it around you? Are you looking for it? If you have it, are you handing it out to others as generously as you have received it? What role is the love of Christ playing in your life right now?
I pray that you find yourself surrounded by the love of Christ soon if you don’t already. Because if it weren’t for the love of Christ, we wouldn’t have the hope, peace, and joy that He offers. These things aren’t just pretty words to throw around every December; they are gifts from God that make life easier. Gifts that come to us as a result of the greatest gift that we could’ve ever asked for and never deserved: Jesus.
By Carrie Prevette