What Child is This? Our Savior! – Week of December 20, 2021
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
1 John 4:9-10
We are days away from Christmas, and the signs are everywhere. We see decorations, lights, presents. We smell cinnamon and cookies baking. Strangers speak kindly to each other. And the giving! Everywhere you turn, there is a donation bucket or charity working hard to care for the needs of others. Many people donate their time or money to charitable organizations during the Christmas season, as a way of “giving back” and showing love to others.
But this is not what Christmas is all about. Oh, surely God wants us to care for others and to help struggling families during the season. God wants us to donate our time and money at Christmastime and any other time of year. And everyone needs love; it is a basic need. But showing love and kindness to family and strangers is not what Christmas is about. And doing these things will not give us the true peace and joy that God wants us to have during this season.
Christmas is not about us showing love to others. Christmas is about God showing love to us, though we do not deserve it. Christmas is about God coming to us as a baby. What child is this? Jesus is so special because this baby is God himself, sent from heaven to walk the earth with us.
God entered this world of sin—sin for which we are fully responsible—as a baby, and then Jesus left the world by dying on the cross. Because of our sin, we deserve death and eternal separation from God in hell. But God loves us so much that he rescued us! Through the life and death of Jesus, our sins are washed away. God showed his love to us by sending his Son to live and die for us, in our place.
The more that we see God’s love for us, the more we want to show our love back to him. God gave us Jesus, a free gift, and we show love back to God by loving and serving him and others. When we take care of others and give gifts during this holiday season, we are saying “Thank you” to God for the ultimate gift of love that he gave to us on that first Christmas.
When you hear the hymn “What Child is This?” during this season, sing confidently that you know the answer! This child is Jesus, the true gift of Christmas. Jesus is God’s gift to us, freely given. Joy to the World! The Lord has come!
Dear God, thank you for showing your love to us by sending Jesus to live and die for us. Use our kindness and service to others during this season to help others learn about the love and forgiveness that we have through Jesus. We celebrate Jesus’ birthday with joy and confidence that our sins are forgiven and we will someday be with you in heaven. Amen.