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For God So Loved!

The Love That Is Christmas
Today’s Reading: John 1:1–14

 
 


The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
(v. 14 NIV)


 

During my first Christmas as a mother, I was awash in self-pity. My husband and I had spent the previous six months nursing our son through a major surgery at birth, a three-week stay in the neonatal intensive care unit, more surgeries, and more hospital stays. Our baby Allen, who ate through a feeding tube, was allergic to everything but breast milk, which I had to pump several times a day. I was exhausted.

But I was also thrilled that Allen was now healthy enough to star in the children’s pageant at church. Bright-eyed, “little Jesus” smiled at the bathrobe-clad members of the cast. In turn, they oohed and aahed over my son, who sported a feeding tube in his tummy and a torso crisscrossed with scars.

Sitting on an old wooden pew in our tiny church, I heard the Christmas story from a new perspective. I thought of how torn I’d felt each time we handed over our precious baby at the hospital. Looking at my son lying in a pretend manger, I imagined the wrenching pain that both God the Father and God the Son experienced on the first Christmas. Despite their pain, the Father handed His precious Son over to our dark world. And the Son willingly entered that broken world to save sinners from themselves.

My self-pity turned to wonder in the presence of this God who bore my pain and my son’s. In that instant, “the Word became flesh” and sat with me on a scarred wooden pew. I knew the love that is Christmas.

 
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Jolene Philo
 
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