When you are a child of God, there is something that feels magical about holding a newborn during the Christmas season. Eight years ago, I was holding my newborn baby girl on a cold December, and I remember looking down at her sweet little face. My heart was absolutely bursting with my love for her. I could not believe that God had blessed me with this beautiful child. And then, as I held this infant of mine, completely dependent on me to meet her every need, I became completely overwhelmed with God’s great love for me. Not just for blessing me with the child in my arms, but for giving me the greatest gift of all.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16.
A favorite verse for many, including my daughter. A verse proudly displayed on many cars and t-shirts. A verse often quoted. But how often do we take those words for granted, and forget just how great that love is?
Jesus. God’s one and only Son…
“Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with
God something to be grasped;
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death –
even death on a cross!”
Jesus. He is fully God. He could have clung to all the privileges that come with being the king of the universe. But instead, he chose to become nothing. Jesus, because of his great love for us, became an ordinary baby, born to sinners. Jesus, because of his great love for us, showed absolute humility, knowing full well that he was destined for the cross. How can I not be overwhelmed?
My baby girl is not so tiny and helpless anymore, but she is still a reminder to me of God’s great love for me. We live in a world that tends to enter the Christmas season distracted and overwhelmed by all the wrong things. My prayer for me and for you is that we celebrate this season by being wonderfully overwhelmed with God’s love for us. And as written in Philippians 2:3, do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
Karen Cilderman serves on the Women’s Ministry leadership team and is a Sunday school teacher at GRC.