Scripture: 1 John 4:7–16
Key verses: (9-11) God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him.
Reflection: The cry split the night, disrupting the soft sounds of the baby’s breathing and quiet rest. Neither mother or father had gotten much sleep. The restless stirring of an infant trying to adjust to a new world did not make parental rest easy. Normally they would have family to help, but here they were on their own. The father brought his wife a cup of water as the child nestled in his mother’s arms.
What an unbelievable journey this had been. The father was still trying to understand what all this meant. The pregnancy was…complicated. Yet his love for his wife and God’s nudging kept him moving forward and looking forward to growing a family. His eyes took in the mother and child as they both settled back in to sleep. He didn’t know how much bigger his heart could grow, but right now it was almost bursting with love. He looked up at the night sky and felt the awe of just being alive—holding a new life, being here with his family. There was nothing he wouldn’t do to protect them and keep them safe. He couldn’t help but wonder, “Is this the way God the Father feels about us? Does God love us as much as I love my son, my wife?”
His wife stirred and held up the baby to him. Cradling the newborn he sat down on the ground, back to back with his exhausted wife. They found their balance leaning on each other. In the distance a rooster crowed. Soon a new day would begin. As dawn began to light the horizon, the father kissed his sleeping son and, once again, staring into the heavens, offered a simple prayer: “Thank you!”
“God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him.”
Prayer: Father in heaven, as we look upon the child born so long ago may we see in him your amazing love poured out for us. In your Son, Jesus, your love is given flesh and blood that we, in our humanness, might never be separated from you. As our hearts enlarge to contain your love, help us not only to feel that love but to live it out for others. This we pray, gathered around the manger, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Author: Von Clemans
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].