United Church of Christ

Christmas Day

Christina Rossetti penned the line of one of my favorite Christmas carols. I first heard it sung by Shawn Colvin.

It reads:
Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love Divine,
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and Angels gave the sign.

Love was born at Christmas.

Yes. Simple, but so powerful a lyric.

I have often repeated that there are two statements that shape my theology: God is just, and God is love. Because God is love, then I think the meaning of Christmas can be summed in that that profoundly simple yet deeply profound lyric “Love came down at Christmas.”

Just take a second to think about the world we live in today. In our world right now:

  • The Middle East is once again filled with tension after the US promised to move our embassy to Jerusalem;
  • 65 million refugees are swarming the globe in search of a new home, but in a world where more and more borders are getting harder to cross;
  • Wild fires burn in CA, Puerto Rico is still trying to recover from a devastating hurricane and the White House has banned words like evidence-based, science-based, and vulnerable;
  • Children in Venezuela are dying by the hundreds;
  • Deep divisions between liberal and conservative Christians threaten to widen the gaps that have long existed and make reconciliation a distant and fading hope;
  • Women are finding their voice, uncovering an epidemic of sexual abuse, harassment, and misconduct that has long existed without the recognition that is now surfacing.

I could go on. The point is made.

Anger, hatred, animosity, suspicion, discrimination, warfare, famine, corruption, greed, avarice, arrogance, violence, poverty, injustice all are evident. And all find themselves dissolved in the overwhelming presence of but one thing: love.

Love is the source of all good.

All that emanates from the divine carries within it the capacity to love.

We become, in God’s name, agents of transformation when we give ourselves over to love.

And Christina Rossettii is so right: love came down at Christmas.

Jesus is God’s expression of love fully articulated in human form and flesh.

Jesus loved his way through his life – and shines even today as our guide light showing us the pathways to love.

His law was written in these words: Love God with all heart, soul, mind and strength; and neighbor as self.

Gentle souls, know this: love has come.

Love will win.

Love is within you.

Love is God, and God is love.

Prepare your heart to receive the gift of love – fully articulated in the birth of a child born to the lowly maiden and wrapped in swaddling clothes.

And let love rule your heart, your mind, your soul, and your strength. Then can we overcome all that today threatens to undo us. Then will we discover what God has always envisioned for us on these, our journeys Into the Mystic.