God’s Love for Us

Twentieth-century Canadian preacher Leonard Griffith told the story of a contest that required contestants to write, in twenty-five words or less, why they liked to shop in a particular store. The prize for first place was a fifty-dollar shopping spree in that store.

Suppose there were another contest. It would go like this: “In twenty-five words or less, describe the meaning of Christmas.” What would you say? Where would you start? With toys and trinkets? With trees and tinsel? With gifts and gadgets? It might be more difficult than it sounds, causing us to reevaluate our views of Christmas and what it really means to us.

If there were such a contest, the author of the fourth gospel would win. Under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, John wrote in exactly twenty-five words what Christmas meant to him, and hopefully to you and me. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 NKJV)

That is what Christmas is all about—God’s love for us.

Christmas is good news in a world of bad news. Ours is a world of violence, wars and rumors of wars, grief, and sickness. Many of us say, “Count me out!”—the world’s problems are too great, our cities’ difficulties are too demanding, humanity’s hurt is too deep. But . . .

Christmas is God saying, “Count me in!” God surveys the scene and says: “Count me in!” He clothes himself in our lowliness to invest us with his grandeur. J. B. Oppenheimer said, “The best way God could send information was to wrap it up in His Son and say, ‘I love you!’”

What should our response be to a love like that? O God, count me in!

This Christmas, amidst the joy and commotion of family and gifts, remember the true gift of God’s love and share the good news of Christmas with your friends and neighbors in a lost and hurting world.

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