The Advent of Love

What is the best Christmas present you’ve ever received? For me, it was hands down my very first drumset…… a 5-piece, black, “Maxx” kit with super cheap cymbals. I can still see it in my mind’s eye, sitting in our den when I descended the stairs as a 7th grader.

I absolutely lost my mind.

As a parent I still enjoy receiving presents, but I love giving presents to other people as well, especially to my children. It is so fun to see their faces light up when they rip open the paper and find something unexpected or specially selected for them. Presents, simply put, are an expression of love. And the best presents communicate, ‘you are known, you are valued, and you are LOVED.’

And it’s what the ultimate gift – better than a drumset or anything else we could ever ask for or imagine – communicates to each and every one of us…

Paul, referring to the grace we have received in and through Jesus Christ, says this in 2 Corinthians 9:15, “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” Paul was not short on words. Reading the 32,000+ he wrote in our New Testament reveals the man possessed a wide range of vocabulary. But when he contemplates the gift we’ve received by grace through faith in Jesus, he says, ‘it’s indescribable.’ No words will do.

And yet, if we’re paying attention, the simplest interpretation of the radically generous gift of God in Christ is this: we are known, we are valued, we are loved…….

This seems to be Jesus’ take in John 3:16, “For God so LOVED the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” (emphasis added)

In the same way a loving but imperfect earthly father beams with joy as his child opens a new toy or comes down the stairs and sees a new drumset, our loving, perfect Heavenly Father beams with radiating joy when we lay hold, again and again, of the gift we’ve received in Jesus.

Don’t miss that! Don’t forget to lift your gaze in your imagination from the baby in the manger to our Father in Heaven, smiling as mankind “opened” the ultimate, indescribable present that first Christmas night…….

Heaven, whispering then as well as now, saying, “you are known, you are valued, and you are loved!”

Matt Murphy

Lead Pastor