6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
What struck me this morning in meditating on these verses is how far my God is willing to go for me. When I think of the extent of my Savior’s love for me, I usually think of the cross, and rightly so, for that is where my salvation has been won. But our Lord’s willingness to go to any length to redeem me and all humanity is seen here as well, in a feeding trough in Bethlehem.
This is the God of the universe, the eternal Son through whom all things were made, coming into the world to undo the curse, and to usher in the new creation. And He makes His entrance in complete humility, vulnerability, and helplessness.
We are so familiar with this story, that we can fail to be struck with awe at the shocking nature of what God is doing here. His coming in humility, poverty, and obscurity seems so “un-Godlike.”
But this is a picture of the love of God. God’s love is not mere sentimentality or just compassion in itself. But rather His willingness to act, no matter the cost to Himself, to do what needs to be done for the sake of the beloved. He sets aside throne, honor, comfort, reputation, and everything else, so that He can secure our forgiveness, redemption and win us a place in the resurrection.
And then He says, “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another (John 13:34).”
How far am I willing to go for my neighbor? How much am I willing to be inconvenienced? How vulnerable am I willing to be? How messy am I willing to allow my life to become for the sake of another?
Perhaps Christmas is best honored in this way. Beyond the lights and decorations, treats and presents, is the call to love one another, to give of our selves for one another, to be inconvenienced for one another, as our Savior gave himself for us.
Lord, work in me a willingness to give of myself as You gave of Yourself for me.
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