Friday, December 08, 2023

Discover the love of God this Christmas

Used by permission of Unsplash 

Many years ago there was a young German girl whose father was a printer. He was printing the German Bible that had just been translated by Martin Luther. One day his young daughter found a scrap of paper that had fallen to the floor in the cutting room. The paper contained words from John 3:16, “God so loved the world that he gave…” but the rest of the verse was missing. She was intrigued by this statement. She read it to herself over and over, “God so loved the world that He gave, God so loved the world that He gave.” 

She liked it so much that she kept it close to her heart and read it every day. She was raised to know that God was just, and Holy, that He hates sin and is angry with the sinner, but she had never read that God loved her so much that He gave…although she did not know what exactly He had given. This revelation brought such joy to her heart that she was singing, and her mother noticing the happy little girl asked, “What is the matter with you?” “Oh mother it is wonderful,” she said, pulling out the little sliver of paper. “Read what it says…‘God so loved the world that He gave.’” “Gave what?” her mother asked. “I do not know, but if He loved me enough that He gave anything at all, I will never be afraid of Him again.”

It is John in his Gospel who says that "God so loved the world that He gave...." But what was His gift? A diamond? A kingdom? A planet? A universe? No! It is so much more! Something priceless and beyond imagination. He gave His Son. And not one of many, but the Only One  that He had. 

Each year we are reminded that Christmas should not be just about giving and receiving presents. But, if we truly think about Christmas, it is, indeed, all about gift giving! At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the greatest gift ever given, by the greatest gift-giver of all, our wonderful God and Father! This is Christmas: not the tinsel, not the giving and receiving, not even the carols, but the humble heart that receives anew the wondrous gift - the Christ."

Used by permission of Your542Day - Written by Peter Francis for Messages with Meaning (10/12/20)

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