This week we continue our advent celebration. Each week, four prior to Christmas Eve, we gather to light a candle and consider the coming of our savior. It is a wonderful time to stop in the midst of the season and truly focus on the reason for all the wonderful merriment of Christmas. This week we celebrate His LOVE for us.
Have you heard the one about the man who never told his wife he loved her? “I told you I loved you on our wedding day” he said “I’ll let you know if that ever changes” . This is the kind of line that is only funny as long as it is not true. I can’t fathom a spouse who would be content with just one profession of love. Whether it is confirmation of something we believed or affirmation of what we know, being told “I love you” is a treasured thing.
Once when I was complaining to my very patient hubby that I felt he did not provide me with enough verbal affirmation he replied, “But I am thinking it all the time!” I realize I am beyond blessed to have a husband who loves me as he does, but I still needed to HEAR it from him.
I will never forget attending the funeral for a young boy who died in a tragic accident. As I came up to my friend, the grief stricken father, to offer my condolences he startled me by his passionate greeting. Taking both my shoulders by his hands, he practically shook me as he looked in my eyes and said, “Tell your kids you love them every day, any day, all the time.” To be honest, at that time, I thought I was pretty good at letting my kids know who much I love them…but that day and ever since I have tried to be better about sharing my love with them.
There is something thrilling about being told you are loved. Not just that fleeting “Love you” we sometimes utter as we leave or get off the phone, but the look in the eyes and say with all earnest, “You need to know, I love you”. It’s as if we were created to be loved and to love others.
God, our creator, knows our every need. He knows our need for this affirming/confirming love. When it comes to loving us, God is consistently and constantly telling us He loves us is so many ways.
He tells us He loves us in the beauty of His creation. Crisp white snow, endless rolling ocean waves, purple and orange setting suns and flower filled fields all shout “I love you.” The laughter of children, the wisdom of the elderly and the comfort of friendships are reflections of His love for us.
At Christmas, we celebrate the greatest proclamation of His love for us.
“By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be a propitiation for our sins.” ( 1John 4:9&10)
In the stillness of the night, on a musty mound of hay, in a stable meant for livestock our heavenly Father whispered, “I love you” to the world as Mary brought forth her newborn son and laid him in a manger.
Merry Christmas to us all!