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God is Love

God is Love
1 John 4:7-16
Christmas Eve

What makes Christmas so special?

We gather on this Holy Night, remembering the birth of the Christ Child, Jesus. We see the nativity scene of Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus. This is what it is all about. God taking on flesh and blood, God coming to humanity for a reason. Why would God do this, the only answer is as one hymn writer put it, Loved caused His incarnation, as our reading for tonight says God is Love.

But what does it mean that God is love? We live in a world where there are many different definitions of love and hate using these words for their own purposes. But tonight is a special night, when we see God’s love in action, and we see what love is really all about.

The incarnation that God taking on flesh and blood and being born of Mary is about God’s love for you. Notice the direction, from heaven above to earth Jesus comes. God comes because He loves you. So Jesus was sent to be as verse 10 says the propitiation for our sins. Propitiation that million dollar word, that is worth more than and million millions. It means Jesus appeasing God the father on our behalf.

Our sin separates us from God, so Jesus took on flesh and blood in order to suffer and die on the cross, so that we are saved. Jesus Himself notes

John 15:13 (ESV) 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

Jesus did lay down His life for you, so we may experience the love that comes from God.

Being Christmas, we ask how do we receive this gift of love? It is given to us by the Holy Spirit through God’s Word and Sacraments.

What do we do with the love, first we enjoy it, than we share it.

We rejoice in the Christmas love given, and then we share.

Jesus own words as it written in Acts 20:35 (ESV) 35 ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”

That would be a good defination of love from Jesus viewpoint. Lay down life, gives His life so that we recevie eternal life. All because God is Love.

As this love is a self-sacrafical love, when we receive this love, it changes us.

Consider the other Christmas charters from the Grinch to Scrooge, there is a change in us when God’s love touches us. We are not the same person, for that Love that we receive from Christ, extends through us to others around us. As God’s love extends through us we confess that God is Love.

1 John 4:15 (ESV) 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.

This is how Christmas continues. We gather where God’s love and forgiveness promises to be, receiving His gifts, not just at Christmas time, but every week, there is a Christmas here. Every week the Miracle of Christmas where God’s Word of Love and forgiveness is read, proclaimed and received right here. We don’t always have the decoration, but every week we have the gifts of God’s grace, love and forgiveness given.

What makes Christmas so special? Christ, given for you.

In His name Amen.

Written by dballa

December 24, 2019 at 4:00 pm

Posted in Sermons

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