The light came to his own people, and his own people didn’t welcome him. But those who did welcome him, those who believed in his name, he authorized to become God’s children, born not from blood nor from human desire or passion, but born from God. The Word became flesh and made his home among us. We have seen his glory, glory like that of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.
Some kids just really don’t like Santa Claus. Oh, the presents are nice. The songs about him can be fun. But ask any Mall Santa. Sometimes, when presented with a real-life, flesh-and-blood Claus, some kids want nothing to do with him. Sometimes, after all the joyful anticipation, you get to the mall, and you’re just not ready. And so, in any line of children waiting to sit in Santa’s Lap, amid all the laughter and excitement, there will also be some tears (and maybe even some screaming).
Sometimes we like the idea more than we like the execution. And I think this is something that Jesus experienced when he came and dwelt among us. His own people, the people who had been waiting so eagerly for him, didn’t want anything to do with him. They rejected him. Passed him over.
But he came anyway. He knew it would happen, and he came anyway because of the great love that God has for God’s creation. The anticipated Messiah came to be rejected, because his love for us was too great not to. He loved us enough to dwell among us, even though he knew most of those around him wanted nothing to do with him.
As we move into the season of Christmas, may we be reminded that God’s love was extended to us before we were even interested in God. May we remember that God chose to dwell among us, knowing that many of us would reject him. God’s love wouldn’t let God do otherwise. And, for those of us who follow God, we are being raised to love others with that same kind of reckless indiscrimination.
Ever-Present, Incarnate Word, help us to love you the way that you have loved us. Help us to love others the way that you have loved us. Help us to love ourselves the way that you have loved us. Amen.
Tyler Jarvis enjoys hanging out with his wife, laying in his hammock, reading theology books, and writing. He holds a Master of Divinity from Lubbock Christian University, and has served as the Youth and Family Minister at the Oak Ridge Church of Christ in Willow Park, Tx since 2011. He can be found online at www.tylerjarvis.com or on Twitter (@Tyler Jarvis).