Reflection by Rev. Jim Nichols, Associate Pastor, Christ Church (Louisville)
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”
Virgin and Child, JESUS MAFA*
From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.
John 1: 16-18
Advent is the time when God came near - it’s the time when God’s people celebrate that he still resides with us, that He is still near. God came near that we might experience the farthest reaches of the grace and love of God. But God didn’t just come for you - He came for the whole world. He came that we might love others like we are loved. This is the call of Advent - Love All, for you have been loved greatly!
Advent is the season of the deepest kind of love - a love that comes alongside, that bears with and upholds in hard times.
Can Christmas still change the world? The Savior that was born and whom we celebrate during this season is the one who still yearns for the world to know that He has come near. We have been loved outrageously - will you love outrageously this year?
*Image credit: JESUS MAFA. Virgin and Child, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=48380 [retrieved December 20, 2011].