"And he went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight. Every valley shall be filled And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight And the rough ways smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’” Luke 3:1-6 (NKJV)
The Bible has a lot to say about love.
In Matthew 22:38–40, we read:
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
Every law and demand, hinged upon love. Theoretically, then, if we could just love God right and love each other right, everything would just fall into place.
Unfortunately, humans historically have a real problem with getting it right. Even if we get close, we inevitably can't keep it up for long. So the Heavenly Father decided that He wouldn't just tell us what love is supposed to look like.
He'd show us.
Christmas is an important chapter of God's cosmic love story. In it, we see clearly demonstrated the Father's love for his Son.
The family unit is one of the very first places that a child learns to love and to be loved. It provides formative experiences on what love "is supposed" to look like.
The Christ-child was placed by the Father into the care of Mary and Joseph, a mother and father united in marriage. The Holy Family was wholly family. Jesus was also born not to a wealthy family, where a servant might have done the bulk of the work raising Him, but a poor family where both parents would share it.
I've seen plenty of evidence through the years that mothers and fathers are both critically important for a child's best outcome, but it wasn't just His Son's well-being at stake that first Christmas. It was ours.
The Heavenly Father also loved us—all of us—so much that He sent His only Son to us. Christ came to love us, knowing how offensive we were in our sin.
He heard our voices with mortal ears, and learned our faces with mortal eyes. He touched us with mortal hands, healing wounds and illnesses and broken hearts. He preached with mortal lips of God's unfailing love for us.
And then, He would ultimately die a mortal death on a rugged cross, defending that love eternally from the grave and Hell.
We serve God and minister in His mighty name, knowing He did infinitely more for us than we can ever repay.
And we do it for Love.
This week, please join me as I pray:
For mothers and fathers to be challenged to marry and to choose marriage when facing pregnancy decisions together, that they would form with God the three-strand cord that cannot be easily broken and provide a loving and God-fearing family for their children.
For the unborn whose lives are in jeopardy, that their parents' hearts would be turned towards them and they would live and be loved and cherished as gifts from God by their parents, natural or adoptive.
For our culture, that we would become a people who universally recognizes the intrinsic value of every life and who loves each other as ourselves... including the unborn.
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