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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Unconditional Love

For as long as I can remember, my family had read Luke 2:1-20 on Christmas Day.  Honestly, when I was younger, it was sort of embarrassing.  After all, I thought, Christmas was about the presents, right?  Now that I am older, I look forward to the reading because I now know it represents God's unconditional love for us all.
"In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone went to their own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 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" Luke 2:1-7
We often judge people by the environment that they grew up in.  What neighborhood they came from or where they went to school.  If we look at the beginning of the life of the creator of the world's Son, it seemed insignificant, but it turned out to be the most significant thing that has ever happened on earth. It happened in a barn stable on that first Christmas night. 

God used Mary and Joseph,ordinary people, just like you and me to carry out the birth of His Son. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things. God wants all of us to do extraordinary things for Him.

8 "And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told." Luke 2:8-20

God sometimes gives His greatest understanding to ordinary people.  The shepherds were the first to hear about the birth of Jesus. They were ordinary people, but they chose to listen and  believe what they heard from God. The first thing they did afterwards was to go and tell other people.  We all should have that same kind of passion and tell others about Jesus and His love for us.

In the classic Peanuts Christmas story, Charlie Brown learns that Christmas is all about love.  Linus tells of the greatest love story ever told.  He speaks of God sending His Son to earth and being born on Christmas day.  Linus declares that the tree only needs some love. Unconditional love, that is what it is all about.  As Charlie Brown decides not to let all the presents, decorations and commercialism of Christmas ruin his Christmas, we should decide to do the same and remember the true meaning of Christmas...unconditional love.

God sent His Son to us on Christmas day.  He sent His Son to save us from our sins.  He sent His Son because He loves us no matter what we do.  He has unconditional love for us. I hope that we all remember this on Christmas day! 

Please share your thoughts or your
 special Christmas memories below.


Ordinary people doing extraordinary things