“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all,” Titus 2:11
Ah, the sweetest of seasons is upon us – the season of gift giving and receiving; the time of remembering all the goodness that is around us; the moment when so many of us take a breath and realize that there is goodness in us and in those around us.
We are entering the sweet season of sensing and knowing that God’s love is for us, and that we are God’s beloved children. It is a love that is unearned, a love that can’t be bought. It is a love that touches our lives in some tangible ways, especially because we don’t deserve it. We’re not exactly the people God created us to be all the time, but we are still blessed with God’s presence, grace, hope, and love.
The love that is promised at Christmas is a love that knows no ending. However far away from God we may find ourselves, God is right beside us, loving us, because that is God’s nature. God waits for us to open a door so that God can come in and make a home in our hearts and raise us up to become our best selves.
That’s the grace that appeared that first Christmas – God’s love for all. Not a love for some, but a love for you, me, and for everyone, no exceptions. No one quite knew it at that first Christmas, though Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds had some idea. The fullness of God’s grace wasn’t revealed until we heard the words of life coming from Christ’s mouth; until Jesus shared the healing touch that restored; until Jesus laid down His life for us to take away our sins and was raised to break the fear and hold of death forever.
That is the grace we can experience today. We know, or are beginning to know, a grace and love that is so deep and powerful, that it can literally change our lives.
My hope and prayer for all of us this Christmas, is that we remember the gift that is offered by God to you, me, and to everyone. Let’s open this most incredible gift and allow God a greater place in our hearts, so that this may indeed be the merriest of Christmases.
Grace and Peace,
The Rev. W. Frank Allen