Note: This is the fourth & final entry in a series of posts inspired by the Advent Conspiracy movement and the book, Advent Conspiracy, by Rick McKinley, Chris Seay and Greg Holder.
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me…I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”
Matthew 25:35-36, 40
The entire universe was his. From the largest star to the smallest quark, it was his creation. His property. If wealth and power were to be found in the material, his was unsurpassed and unsurpassable.
And yet, he gave it all up. And for what?
When God chose to clothe himself in humanity, to leave his heavenly throne to dwell among his created, he did not come as a king or a president. He did not come as a powerful businessman or captain of industry or a well-dressed preacher with shiny hair and even shinier suits.
He came as a baby. In poverty. In the lowliest of lowly circumstances.
Had it happened today, no social service agency would have reached low enough to find him.
And for what?
To love the poor. To fellowship with the sick, the outcast, and the forgotten.
To lift up the overlooked. To bring hope where there was only despair. To bring light and life into loneliness.
It was a kind of love no one had seen before. It was a love that reached beyond all barriers and into all places. A love that asked for nothing in return. A love freely given. No tricks. No strings attached.
Contrary to what many believe and preach, Jesus didn’t come to institute a new sin management program for humanity. He came to love. And to show us how to love like he does.
It’s one thing to tell someone that God loves them. It’s another thing altogether to show them.
Christmas is our chance to remember what that love looked like. And what it can still look like today. How we choose to celebrate God’s entry into our world, into our communities, into our families and into our lives can still change the world.
So how will we celebrate? Will we celebrate the excessiveness of our material culture? Or will we spread just a little bit of Jesus’ love back into the places he came to show it originally…with the poor, the sick, the forgotten, and the lonely?
It is fine for us to enjoy the bounty of the blessed life we have been granted. It is a good thing to gather with friends and family, to exchange gifts and be festive. But think how much more meaningful your festivities can be if, in the midst of this season, you do one small thing to show God’s love and goodness to someone who has no reason to believe in it.