CHRISTMAS IS ABOUT AMAZING LOVE
Dec 13, 2011 by Alex Mekonnen | 0 Comments
While I was a doctoral student, I was invited by good friend, the late Prof. Norm Arnesen, to listen to the lecture of Gordon Fee given to students and faculty at Bethany Bible College. At the end of the lecture, there was a Q & A time, and a student asked Dr. Fee, “What impress you the most about Christianity?” As I was waiting for a profound theological explanation, Dr. Fee simply answered, “The fact that God loved Fee is the most amazing thing to me. God is not obligated to reveal himself to me or love me, but he did. That is incredible to me.” A person who never forgets the consequence of sin is always truly loves God.
Centuries ago, Paul summed up the coming of Christ saying; “Here is a trust worthy saying that deserve full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst” (1 Tim. 1:15). In the words of Philip Yancy, “Paul stressed that a price has been paid—by God himself. God gave up his own Son rather than give up on humanity”(1997:67). Christmas is about undeserved grace, mercy, acceptance, and love by the almighty God. If we do not understand these truths and experienced them in our own personal lives, we have missed the whole essence of Christmas. My question is not, do you feel you are loved by God? But, do you know that God loves you? Have you experienced this love? Even if you feel and know that you are the worst sinner like Paul, God’s response is love and grace that surpasses your sin, negative feelings about yourself and the unbearable conditions you are in. The love of Christ can’t be earned. There is nothing in human beings that qualify us to be loved by God. “…we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved…through faith—and this is not yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works so that no one can boast” (Eph. 2: 3b-9).
As we celebrate Christmas it is important to remember and reflect on God’s undeserved and amazing love. Like Philip said to Nathaniel, I hope we will say to the nonbelievers, “Come and see.”