The gift of Love at Christmas
As Ruth Starkings reflects on the Christmas story, she reminds us of the amazing gift of love that we have all received through that baby’s birth.
This Christmas, through my job, I have had the privilege of sharing the Christmas Story with lots and lots of children. We talk of the amazing love God has for each and every one of us and because of this love, He sent His Son to earth as a baby – God’s precious gift.
'And there, in the stable, amongst the chickens and the donkeys and the cows, in the quiet of the night, God gave the world His wonderful gift. The baby that would change the world was born. His baby Son. Mary and Joseph wrapped Him up to keep Him warm. They made a soft bed of straw and used the animals' feeding trough as His cradle. And they gazed in wonder at God's Great Gift, wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger.
Mary and Joseph named Him Jesus, 'Emmanuel' - which means 'God has come to live with us'.
Because, of course, He had.' (Jesus Story Book Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones)
How can a baby demonstrate such amazing love?
For me it goes further than Jesus as a baby. As the story continues Jesus grows into a man and in the Bible, we read about all that He did. The life that He led was all about love. Jesus led a life that said, ‘You first’. A life that stopped and noticed those who usually went unnoticed. A life that gave rather than took. A life that listened. A life that was overflowing with love.
This love was so freely given. However, sometimes I really struggle to accept that love because I feel rubbish and feel that I do not deserve that love...because I often do not feel able to love someone in such an outrageously, extravagant way...or because, humanly, I don’t feel loved in that way.
However, this love that was born in a stable does not actually ask me to do anything, because:
It was a gift of love that did not have a list of terms and conditions attached,
It was a gift of love that did not give on condition of return,
It was a gift of love that didn’t have a sell-by date attached to it.
The image above is courtesy of https://pixabay.com
That night, the world was turned upside down. God’s precious gift was so extravagant - lives would be turned around. Love had come to live with us. God’s own Son had come as a baby to show a love that reaches out beyond anything. A love that gave its all to give me life. A love simply given as a perfect, limitless, eternal and unconditional gift.
Ruth Starkings is the Family Worker at Meadow Way Chapel in Hellesdon. She also enjoys writing, and writes a regular blog called ‘With Every Sun Comes A New Day.’
The views carried here are those of the author, not of Network Norwich and Norfolk, and are intended to stimulate constructive debate between website users.