Clergy Column

This time of year our attention is drawn to one of the greatest attributes of God: love.

“We love him because he first loved us.” (1John 4:19) “God is love.” (1John 4:8) “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:35)

There are many things that demonstrate the uniqueness of Biblical Christianity, distinguishing it from other religions; this is one of the most significant.

God is not a cruel task master, a harsh, distant, difficult to reach deity that can only be appeased by our extreme suffering, sacrifice or martyrs death. He is the creator, our heavenly father who loved us so much; he came to this earth to provide for us the means of being reconciled to him.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten son of God.” (John 3:16-18)

“Herein is love, not that we love God, but that he loved us, and sent his son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1John 4:10)

He bore the cost, endured the suffering, did all that was necessary to provide for man what we could not do for ourselves: clear the guilt and debt of sin and offer the gift of eternal life.

This was the message in Charles Wesley’s hymn, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.”

“Hark! The herald angels sing. Glory to the newborn King;

Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled:”

“Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace! Hail the Sun of Righteousness!

Light and life to all he brings, Risen with healing in his wings;

Mild, he lays his glory by, Born that man no more may die,

Born to raise the sons of earth, Born to give them second birth.”

Yes, Jesus Christ, whose coming was prophesied in over 300 prophesies of the Old Testament by many writers, hundreds of years before His birth, is God’s demonstration of His love for us.

As you see the display of that baby in a manger I hope you will recognize all that it represents,

“Christ by highest heaven adored, Christ the everlasting Lord:

Late in time behold Him come, offspring of a virgin’s womb.

Veiled in flesh the God-head see, hail the incarnate Deity!

Pleased as man with men to dwell Jesus our Immanuel.”

And in seeing that will come to realize how much the Creator loves you and desires that each of us would prepare Him room in our hearts. To receive Him who authored the spirit of giving and the greatest gift ever given: the gift of God which is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord that He might, “Reinstate us in thy love.”