Advent 2022: Love
Have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! PHILIPPIANS 2:5-8
Nothing says love like choosing to make someone else’s home your own.
There is a popular Christmas song called “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” Close friends and family members move away for jobs or dreams or any number of other life circumstances. But during the holidays, we always want to come home. Why? Because proximity matters. Being physically close is important, especially during special seasons and moments. If we can’t always be together, at least we can be together at Christmas. Even if for the briefest of moments, we can share the same home.
Throughout Scripture, we encounter a God who wants to be physically close to His people, who wants to make His home with us. Way back in Genesis—when Adam and Eve sinned and hid—we see God, walking through the garden, asking, “Where are you?” In Exodus, God has His people build a tabernacle, and, later, the temple. For what purpose? So that He can dwell among them.
In the Gospel of John, the writer describes what happened at Christmas this way, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” One paraphrase of this verse reads, “The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood.” There’s no greater commitment or display of love than someone who is willing to leave what’s comfortable and move everything, just to be close and share the same space. At Christmas, God chose to make His home with us. He left the comfort of Heaven and settled in next door. He loved us enough, not only to serve us, but to immerse Himself in our world.
This Christmas, know you are loved. You have a God who wants to be close to you. In your weakness and brokenness, when you were without hope in this chaotic world, God came near. You have a God who chose your mess over His own comfort. In your uncertainty, you are loved because He is near. In your fear, you are loved because He is near. In your frailty, you are loved because He is near. In your loneliness, depression or anxiety, you are loved because He is near. In your joy, celebration and feelings of warmth, you are loved because He is near. God became flesh and moved into the neighborhood. There is no stronger or clearer indication of His love for you.
ACTIVITY: Look back at last week—was there an activity you missed that you’d like to still do? Consider today your “make-up day.” 😊 Did everything you wanted to do? Consider today your day of rest and enjoy the break from the holiday hustle.