Christmas. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believe in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16). We hear the story every year; we hear the verse every year. Sometimes, it can be easy to brush it off as routine. Pass over it.

The fact of the matter though, is that it is true. Christmas isn’t just giving gifts, decorating streets, singing songs, and gathering together for a meal. Those are things we do, but why? What is the meaning behind the holiday? It is love. 

The reason Jesus came down to earth was because of love; because God has loved us so much since the dawn of creation that He could not look on any longer in pain because of our mistakes. God created us, not because He needed to, not because He was lonely, but because He wanted to. He wanted to work with us and commune with us. However, because of sin we could no longer be with Him, because He is without sin. But since that time, God had a plan to redeem us; to bring us back to live with Him in goodness. Not because He was lonely, but because He loves us and knows what’s best for us. He knows that living in a life of sin will not go well for us.

So, even though we ignored Him, rejected Him, turned our backs on Him, lied to Him, He still loved us and never gave up on us. Even when we let go, He was still holding on. He wasn’t giving 50% to the relationship; He gives 100%. Thus, He sent His Son for us to become fully man, so that a way might be made to return to God by a man dying for man, and then overcoming death because He did not conform to sin and death could not hold Him – it broke the rules.

Jesus conquered death for us, with all He went through, so that we might conquer death as well by choosing God, and stepping across the bridge of the cross back to our Father and Creator. A father and creator that loves us. Genuinely. More than we could ever know or hope to know. And how was this made possible; this way back to Him and His love? By His Son being made low to make us high. By His Son being born in a manger on a Christmas night. The greatest gift of all.

“But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever. For what You have done I will always praise You in the presence of Your people. And I will hope in Your name, for Your name is good.” – Psalm 52:8-9

-Taylor Whitehouse