The Power and the Irresistibility of Real Love

The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.” – Luke 2:10-12

It’s been a month now since our fourth grandchild (Geoffrey) made his early and dramatic entry into this world. And, thanks to all these Covid restrictions, we still haven’t had the opportunity to hold him.

But we have been talking to Geoffrey and looking at him just about every day via FaceTime, and we do feel like we’re getting to know him. There is this sense of familiarity developing and we are confident he will already know us whenever we are able to move from the virtual world to the hugs we all so very badly need.

Additionally, this new baby boy is bringing some flesh-and-blood gravitas to The Christmas Story – almost more than the best live Nativity does. For some reason, today, when I downloaded this photograph of the latest “Infant Lowly” in the Maul family tree, I saw the face of Jesus – the face of God – in a new light, and my “reality meter” for Christmas notched up a few more significant levels.

Infant holy, infant lowly,
for his bed a cattle stall;
oxen lowing, little knowing
Christ the babe is Lord of all.
Swiftly winging angels singing,
bells are ringing, tidings bringing:
Christ the babe is Lord of all!
Christ the babe is Lord of all!

Skardze/Reed (1921)

Maybe it is because the primary emotion that links us is that of love.

Cuteness – yes; wonder – of course; beauty – so much; purity – absolutely; hope and promise for the future – more than we ever dreamed possible. But it is love; pure, super-charged love pouring both ways through an open channel. Love is a conduit that knows nothing of the 840-miles to Miami, the 4,500 miles to Dresden, the distance created by sin, or the barriers that so often exclude people from redemption and peace.

This is the message of Christmas. That The Creator of all life made God’s-self vulnerable, accessible, unattached to any human power structure, and dependent.

If we can accept this gift, and offer ourselves into God’s care in the same way, then incarnation becomes indwelling, and we are free.

This image. This child. This quality of love. This Christmas.

In love, and because hope and promise are sustained by the beautiful truth of it – DEREK


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