The last gift we will mention that we receive because of the first Advent (though there are more than we can say!) is love. In our world it seems like your worth is tied into what you can buy or what you can provide for others. In Jesus’ world you are what His birth says you are, regardless of what you can offer Him or can buy others during the holidays. 

            Such is the love of Jesus, gratuitous and extravagant. God the Son did not need us or need to come to earth for any reason but for the love that compelled Him. True love, the love of Jesus is given freely at Christmas time. You can longer see yourself as a commodity or another cog in a machine because of Jesus. Jesus took on your flesh, that he might make those born according to human flesh know and enjoy His divine nature. Jesus took on our humanity because we could not reach God at all, we could not go up to Him. Thus God came down took on our flesh that He might make us like Him and bring us to God with Him.

            This changes who we are, all of us—and thus how we relate to our neighbors. Jesus taking our flesh in His body made a way of peace for all people, thus demonstrating His love for everyone. Jesus in doing so shows us how we should see others. Others don’t exist for us, but for to know Jesus and eternal pleasure. To see the love Jesus gives everyone and join that is to recognize the work of the incarnation, God becoming human. 

            Just as we have received a love that is not fixed on what we produce or who we are, because we were further from God than we could imagine, so we ought love in such extravagant ways. We were loved in spite of who we have been and how unimportant our trifles are to the King of the Universe. Recognizing this frees us to give gratituous love in all of its forms in a world of constant cost-benefit analysis. Jesus tastes our sadness that we might taste God’s happiness! When we know this, and deeply believe this we are free to pour love into the sadness of our world, knowing the pleasures of God are forever ours because of the first Christmas. 

            Jesus poured out His love beginning the first Christmas and all the way “Taught us to love one another” for “His law is love and His Gospel is peace.” Even the love we give finds its source in the love we have been given by Jesus at the first Christmas.

            Merry Christmas to all this week!