Advent is a time for reflecting on the gifts God has given us and on the relationship he wants us to have with him. Christ was born into our world in a radically different way than the world would expect and certainly different from what the world would want. He didn’t come here with great power and strength … with all the glitz and command seen in movies today of great and strong leaders. God chose to enter our world quietly and meekly as a newborn child delivered in a manger. He came to show the world a better way. He came to bring hope and real love into our lives. He could have made the grand entrance, but that would have set us apart from Him. God came to draw us closer.
At the other end of Christ’s story is the crucifixion. He leaves the world in much the same way as he came into it. He lives like one of us. He suffers real pain and not because he has to but because he chooses to offer himself in love as a sacrifice for our sinfulness.
What does this say to me? It says that my Lord really loves me as broken as I am. He doesn’t hold it against me. He really loves me. He gives all of us hope. Things don’t always go well in our lives. There is a lot of pain, a lot of senseless violence, unfair burdens placed on some. But we are not alone. We are truly loved by a God who understands our pain and who sent his son to us. Not only did Jesus live among us, like us, and ultimately die for us; he promised us he would come again. And when he comes again, he will raise us up to live in connection with him in perfect harmony as he takes his rightful place as Lord of all. Things may be hard, but we always know there is a beautiful, eternal future for us. We also know that while we wait for that future, we are not alone because God’s spirit is here to comfort us as we make it through the hardships of our lives. We are loved by the creator of all things, and he wants to have a lifelong relationship with us. What an amazing blessing this is! Through God’s actions, we see what true and absolute power actually is and rejoice in the fact that we are recipients of his glorious love.