by Terry J. Hallock

It's All about Love
Terry J. Hallock
John 3:16; I John 3:16, 4:7-12
Christmas Eve, December 24, 1998

At its heart Christmas stands for one idea. While culture says it's about getting new things, Bethlehem's baby declares it's about receiving the same unchanged gift. While culture throws out last year's hot toy to introduce this year's "can't miss" item, the angels keep singing the same simple song. Whether it's the shepherds standing at a manger at the beginning of this millennium or whether it's you and I gathering here tonight, the heart of Christmas now remains what it was then. IT'S ALL ABOUT LOVE!

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son..." Those words are the same today as they were when John first wrote them because their truth is the same now as it was then. It was love that gave birth to Christmas and it is love that still gives it life. Love saw a need and gave a gift to meet it. Love still sees that need and offers the same gift to heal it.

God saw His children, created by His hand to reflect His image and live in His grace, separated from that image and empty of that grace. He still sees that now. He created us to walk in mercy and compassion but too often He sees us walking in sin, selfishness, and insensitivity. He formed us to be filled with all His fullness and to know His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control but too often He sees us void of those fruits. He destined us to be eternally wrapped in His arms of life, but too often He sees us dying prematurely wrapped in the hands of darkness and death.

Yet because God is love and can only do what love demands, He sent a gift to meet the need. He sent His Son -- His only Son! He didn't send a book about a twelve-step program to overcome sin. He sent His Son! He didn't send worldly wealth wrapped in gleaming foil Christmas paper lying beneath a brightly-lit tree. He sent His Son wrapped in swaddling clothes and lyi ...

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