What began as a gloriously impossible birth became a gloriously impossible life.
The One heralded by the prophets became the Living Voice to a deaf world.
The One whose crib was an animal feeding trough became Living Bread for the hungry.
The One who was worshipped by kings and angels now became a Living Hope for the lowliest and poorest of the earth. The One who started life as a hunted refugee, hiding in the shadows, became a Living Refuge for the outcast. The One who humbly kneeled in the river Jordan became Living Water for the thirsty, a stream running in the desert. The One who was so hated by those in power that they ultimately murdered Him became Love Incarnate.
Pure Love in the flesh.
Love walking around with skin on.
It’s hard to comprehend this kind of love. Love is a fleeting emotion in the world’s terms, hard to find and harder to hang on to. But the Bible tells us about a different kind of love – love that is as strong as death, that burns like a blazing fire.
And when God, whose very nature is love, took the form of human flesh, Pure Love entered our world. This kind of love holds on tight, sacrifices everything, and breaks every chain. It is a self-emptying love that forgives and covers sin, an unfailing love that comes looking for us and never gives up. It is an unconditional love that looks beneath broken-ness and beyond failures, deep into the hearts of men and women created in God’s image, and sees them through the eyes of love.
As he lived his human life, Jesus showed us what real love looks like. He ignited hope in the hopeless and assigned worth to the worthless. He lifted the heads of the oppressed, loved the unlovable, and touched the untouchable. Walking from village to village, God in the flesh moved among his people – encouraging and rebuking, laughing and weeping, reaching out and bringing in.
It takes childlike faith to believe this story of love. It takes childlike humility to bow both head and heart and receive such undeserved mercy. But when in childlike wonder we stop to gaze into the Bethlehem manger, we realize this incredible truth: he became one of us so that we could become one with Him. And united with him, the possibilities are endless.
We can experience real peace in a world filled with fear and conflict.
Real mercy in a world soaked in sin and shame.
Real joy in a world filled with loss and suffering.
Real light in a world that grows darker each day.
Real, perfect love that casts out all fear.
Then, as we follow Jesus, we can become love walking around with skin on.
This is the kind of love that can change a world, one life at a time.
For this is how much God loved the world—he gave his one and only, unique Son as a gift. So now everyone who believes in him will never perish but experience everlasting life. God did not send his Son into the world to judge and condemn the world, but to be its Savior and rescue it! John 3:16-17 (Passion Translation)