Pastor’s Reflection

The lyric, “Love Came Down,” has impressed me in recent years as summing up so much of what Christmas is about, and what the Christian life is about, too. There is an older hymn by this title, and recently Kari Jobe has written a song on this theme, also. She writes, ”Love came down and received me; Love came down and set me free; I am yours, I am forever yours, Jesus, I am yours.”
 
This Christmas song follows right after we have been immersed in the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation, and these two go together so well.
 
At Christmas we worship the fact that God has come down to us in his Son born for us. It is an act of pure love as Jesus is sent into a troubled and sinful world to bring God’s love to redeem the world and you and me back into relationship  with God. It is a one-way thing — down. God has come down for us so that we might respond by loving God in return by loving those who are near us in the world.
 
This love has come down and received us as we are. God has taken us in Jesus, enveloped us with God’s love, and drawn us to himself.
 
This was a turning point for Martin Luther when he realized this. When he realized through scripture that God had indeed come down for him in love and received him, he was set free. Before that realization, he had known the words of
God’s love, but he had not realized how it didn’t have to be earned, and how it wasn’t conditional based on his behavior. God loved him, God received him, he could live in joy and he could gladly dedicate himself to God.
 
This is a good time for us to realize the great blessing it is that “love came down” in this one born for us who showed us what pure, unconditional love is like. He showed it to us, and he bestows it on us. Let this be a Christmas to remember that “Love came down,” and how precious, freeing, and life-giving that is for us.
 
May the peace that comes with Christ’s love be with you,
 
– Pr. Keith