“The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us…” John 1:14
Merry Christmas to you, friends!
I’m writing this email from the comfort of my parents’ home. The Christmas tree is lit with packages already underneath, and my not-really-so-little-anymore brother is cuddled up beside me on the couch. Idyllic, right? In one week, I’ll be spending the evening with a friend in Washington D.C., having said goodbye to my biological family earlier that day and ready to leave on a jet plane the next morning for South Sudan.
These last few weeks, I’ve been keenly aware of the many blessings in my life. I’ve known so much love, beauty, joy, and peace. I have been extremely and inordinately blessed with faithful people around me since I was a baby. I first knew love in the security of my family. The Word tells us that every good and perfect gift comes from our Heavenly Father (James 1:17). So, in His kindness, He let me know Him first through a beautiful family. Even through the harsher moments in my life – abuse, fear, loss, sadness – God carried my heart, initially, through the kindness of family and friends, and increasingly through His own Spirit speaking to me. In a very real way, as a child, God was enfleshed before me and loved me through my family.
Not everyone is loved as I’ve been loved. Many people really believe they don’t matter. If anyone sees them, they don’t know it. If anyone loves them, they don’t feel it. They believe the lie that they are disposable. Dispensable. Unwanted. Unneeded. Worthless. And ultimately… alone. What a lie!
At this time of year, more than any other, we should know and proclaim the truth that God sees, loves, and comes to us! Our God saw us in sin, self-destructing in our human brokenness. His heart ached with longing to be able to relate to us again. And in that love, He chose to take the frame of a weak baby. He came to us. He became like us. He submitted Himself to a human frame – human weakness – even a fallen human order! Every right He had as God of the universe was laid aside to prove His love for us. To come near to us. And by His sinless life and death, He made it possible for us to know Him again – as God. Jesus became flesh to reveal God to the world.
So, what is the answer for a hurting person – overlooked, unwanted, alone? The answer is a flesh and blood person to see them – love them – and come to them. Who will be love-with-skin-on to them? Who will follow Jesus in laying down rights and sacrificing of themselves so that person will know love? Receiving love should not cost them a thing. However, in giving love, there is a cost. Perhaps, as we learn to love like Jesus, the cost will not compare with the reward (Hebrews 12:2-3).
This Christmas, I thank the Lord for a family that loves me well. I thank God for revealing Himself to me through their faithfulness, and I thank Jesus for paying an inestimable price to draw near to me. May we all follow His footsteps of love so that many will encounter God through us!
Until next time,