Celebrate Love

The essence of Christmas


by Steve Benintendi/ December 16, 2015

So it’s Christmas time and it is all back again—the overeating, the gifts, the lights and decorations. We all look forward to it; well most of us do anyway. This season is filled with traditions, some cultural and some individual. Some complain about all the commercialism during the holidays, but when you bring it all down to the basic essence of Christmas, it is Jesus’ birthday, and why shouldn’t we party? The simple answer is that we should.

What are you celebrating this Christmas? Or, are you celebrating this Christmas … really celebrating?

John 1:14 says, “So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.” (NLT) Wow! God loves man so much that He sends His only Son to earth as a wonderful gift for all mankind. What a wonderful thing to celebrate. 

John 1:16–17 says, From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ (NLT). 

What does the first Christmas gift mean to you? I mean deep down, underneath all the trapping. Who is this God-Man to you? Did His love feel unfailing when you lost your job? Does His love feel faithful when someone you love is dying? How easy it is to measure our blessings with dollar signs or good health. Jesus, God’s Gift came offering a relationship, not a country club membership. When you truly understand the nature of the relationship, you will have good reason to celebrate.

The relationship Jesus offers is a relationship based in love. Not the Hollywood version of love but the “for better or worse, richer or poorer, sickness or health” kind of relationship. Sometimes life will leave you worse off, poor or sick, but Jesus’ love for you will not waiver. Jesus will love you when you succeed, but love you no less when you fail. He will love you if you become rich, but love you no less if you go bankrupt. He will love you when you are young and healthy, but love you no less when you are old and dying. His love is unwavering through all of it, the good and the bad.

So this Christmas, I am celebrating a love that offered grace to King David and to Peter when they failed so miserably. I am celebrating a love that laughs with me and cries with me. He never promised I would always stay healthy. He never promised I would be rich.  He never promised I would live a trouble free life. But… His love is faithful through it all. It is unwavering. God loves me! That is what I’m celebrating this Christmas.