Christmas: The Prince Who Became a Pauper!
We are coming into the most beloved season of the year. It is not just for children, it’s a time for everyone. Already, our grandchildren are hinting at things we could buy them. I bet your children or grandchildren have been doing the same thing.
One of my favorite hymns is “Love Came Down at Christmas.” The words were written by the poet, Christina Rossetti in 1885. The music is a traditional Irish melody. At times, it almost moves me to tears, especially the third verse: (Check it out in the Hymnal, No. 242.)
Many years ago Søren Kierkegaard, the Danish theologian, was asked to explain the coming of Christ into the world. He wrote this wonderful parable based on love.
There was a prince who fell in love with a peasant maid. He had noticed her passing by on the street and was instantly infatuated. He reasoned that if he went to her as a the prince and told of his love and she accepted, he would never be sure if she loved him because he was the prince or for himself. He wanted a true, abiding and genuine love. So he abandoned all of his royal finery and came to live as a peasant in her community. He shared her life with her, and in that sharing, she fell in love with him. When he came to be a part of her world, she developed genuine love for him.
That is what happened at Christmas. In Christ, God put on “rags” to come and show us love. It is because of Christ that we are able to fully love God. Since God, in Christ, came to be a part of our world, we are enabled to know God as God really is, and to love him with all of our hearts. As Christina Rossetti wrote, “Love was born at Christmas.”
God loves us so much, that he came to us as the most helpless of creatures in the most out-of-the way place: as a baby in a cattle stall in a little backwater town in the middle east. The only witnesses were simple shepherds and God’s angels.
God showed us how much he loves the whole world. God gave the world a sign: the star and the angels.
What is our sign to others? How are we to show others this great love? We show others by sharing God’s love and the salvation we receive from Christ with others. God uses us to be signs of divine love today. Share God’s love with others, not only in this joyous season, but all year round.
I am your friend and pastor,