Love Came Down: God's Plan Unfolds
John 3:16 is pretty much the crux of the Christmas story:
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life".
Love came down, when God sent his son Jesus into the world on that first Christmas, in Bethlehem, 2000 years ago. That first Christmas, God's plan - summed up in John 3:16 – was unfolding just as God had planned for all of time.
Jesus was born as a baby, ready to grow up, be rejected and killed by us, so that he might rise from the grave, and bring us into life with him. Love came down, 2000 years ago, in order to make whole God's plan for his creation.
The truth of the Christmas story is completely game changing. The very minute that the son of God was born in a stable in Bethlehem, everything changed.
“A saviour has been born to you”. These words, sang by the angels, speak to each of us, to this very day. God sent Jesus as a saviour, who was and is to be our “everlasting father”, and “prince of peace”. God knows our very hearts, and yet he chose to reject his own son, that we may be brought to life with him.
I don’t know what this term has held for you. Whether it has been relatively plain sailing, stressful, or incredibly painful, this Christmas is the perfect reminder that whatever has happened, or will happen, God is in control. The very nature of the Christmas story shows us this. Mary was just a child, not yet married, and yet pregnant. She must have been terrified. Mary and Joseph had to hide from Herod, who wanted to kill their newborn son: even as Jesus was born, the world was in turmoil: yet Jesus uses brokenness for his glory.
This term, I started working for the first part of my gap year. It has been stressful and pretty scary – and working, paired with the prospect of a four month trip to Kenya in January, has left me feeling largely scared and exhausted. And yet in this time, Jesus has reached into my situation more clearly than ever.
In John 16:33 Jesus says:
“In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world”.
The Christmas story doesn’t take away the pain and worries of life in the here and now. But the gift of Jesus is greater than any other gift under the tree this year. He is a gift for now and forever, as he speaks the peace and love of a perfect father into every situation, as well as promising that the best is yet to come.
Lucy is based in Cambridge and is currently on her Gap Year. She is a fan of books, chocolate brownies and trashy TV. She is part of Christ Church Cambridge, where she loves being able to meet with others to learn more about Jesus.