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Saturday, 23 December 2017

My favourite Christmas text - part 2

Last night, I shared that my favourite Christmas text makes no mention of shepherds, angels, magi, or even a manger. It is those equally well-known words found in John 3:16 - "... God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life."

Last time I shared about the most amazing fact - that God loves you and me! But the love, even of Almighty God, if it were merely passive and uncommunicated, would be insufficient. And so, after the Fact, this well-known verse goes on to speak of the Act.

“… God so loved the world - that He gave His only Son,” And here is the love of the God Who is love, being put into action. God loved you and me so much that He gave. And He gave sacrificially – even the only-begotten; God the Son.
Christmas is, traditionally, a time for giving. And isn’t it wonderful to remember that at what we think of as the very first Christmas, the greatest and best Gift that could ever be, was given? Almighty God gave Himself in the Persona (not a typo - read the chapter on "The Trinity" in my first book - details above!) of the Son; putting His love into action; giving the very best that He had; giving all that He was and is. The most wonderful Gift the world has ever known. A Gift so incredible that even Paul could not find words that were adequate to describe it, and so spoke of God’s inestimable Gift”; His “inexpressible Gift”; His “indescribable generosity”; His “Gift beyond words”! (II Cor.9:15).
What a lesson to us, whose giving is often weak and selfish – even at this Christmas season. And I don’t refer to our giving of presents to one another, but in our giving to the work and witness of that same Jesus Whose birth we celebrate at this time. And even those who do serve faithfully and to the fullest extent of their abilities, can only say, according to Jesus: “… we are servants and deserve no credit; we have only done our duty.” (Lk.17:10). If folk like that are still, as it were, “in debt” to Father God; if even their selfless, and sometimes sacrificial, giving does not even begin to match His; where does that leave the rest of us?!

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