season of love / by maureen maniquis

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Love.  No doubt a multitude of images fill our minds at the sound of this word.  It’s a universal word that is used in every language known to man.  But, what is it?  Most of us can say that we have been “in love” at some point in our lives.  Many of us know what it is “to love” our children, our families, our friends and aren’t our hearts moved “with love” when we see images of orphaned and starving children on our TV screens.  We all understand that this emotion can be very powerful but do we know where it comes from and why it matters so much to us.  The Bible says God is love (1 John 4:8).  But, the Bible also says no one can see God and live (Exodus 33:20).  It’s a bit of a quandary, right?  If we’re honest, we all can admit that we are seriously flawed people and have the scars to prove it.  Yet, every image that rises up of God is one of transcendent holiness and perfection that creates a longing within us for a deeper experience of this mysterious love.  Who doesn’t want to love and be loved?


So this God, who is love, gave us a Season of Love, a moment in time that would change everything forever.  He gave us a pair of safety glasses through which we could gaze upon his fullness and still live, a foolproof protective plan to get to know him.  He put his fullness, the very essence of his being, into a child that looked like you and me.  The very holiness of this transcendent God clothed himself in flesh and bones and made his home among us.  His name is Jesus.  And he calls us to look upon him, in fact to fix our eyes upon him.  And the first images we see are of a child in a stable, unassuming, anonymous, humble.  Why? This doesn’t make any sense.  How can a transcendent holy God be humble?  Is this an oxymoron?  Or, is this our very first lesson in love?  Is this our first glimpse of the only way true love can ever really exist; that is, for it to be born in unassuming humility?  Does the life of love truly only flourish through the giving rather than the receiving?


 Can we bury our self-importance in the ground of grace and learn of this astounding love and embrace this Season of Love for all that it signifies?  It is far more than just this opening stable scene, this first witness of God’s love for us.  To know this love of God is to give it away.  It is to lavish as we have been lavished.   It is a forever gift that increases with every bend of the knee and bow of the head.  Every humble-ready heart can lean in closer to the heart of God and discover the deeper mysteries of his boundless Love in a season that never ends.

“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by His Word.” Hebrews 1:3 NIV

“So the Word became human and made his home among us.  He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.  And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.”  John 1:14

“…This is real love---not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.”  1 John 4:10