Hi everyone. Rob here. “Love Came Down at Christmas” is a poem, written for Christmas by Christina Rossetti and was first published in 1885. It has been set to music many times and is now a well-known Christmas carol.
Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love Divine,
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and Angels gave the sign.
Worship we the Godhead,
Love Incarnate, Love Divine,
Worship we our Jesus,
But wherewith for sacred sign?
Love shall be our token,
Love shall be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign.
This simple poem gets to the heart of Christmas. On Sunday we lit the Advent candle of love and several people read John 3:16 in different languages, then finally in English: “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.” Jesus came to us at Christmas because God is love. “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us (John 1:14)” because the Father looked at us with eyes of love and decided to rescue us from our slavery to sin, selfishness and Satan by sending his Son, Jesus for us. Christmas is not just about a birth. It’s about a divine initiative, born out of love, to save humanity from death and despair and bring us into a life of ‘freedom and glory’ as Paul puts it in Romans 8:21.
This Christmas families will gather together and there will be a desperate yearning for love to be shown and experienced. For some that will happen, praise God. For others, it could well be a day littered with selfishness and dysfunction. For many, it will be a strange mixture of both. I am praying for our family gathering, that I will be a contributor of Christ-like love and that it will flow out of a heart touched by Christ. But it will be a challenge. Our family is a mixed bunch. My brother-in-law is coming from England with his partner and recently born baby and expectations are high for special family time. Our family will be coming out of a busy December with a need for rest, but that is not the usual setting for Kiley’s family! We need God to make it work!
Yes, of course we do. Generally speaking, our expectations for people to meet our heart’s need for love is too high, and our expectations for God to meet our heart’s need for love is too low. Yet, God is love. He is the source of love, the proof of love, the keeper of love and ultimate object of love. This Christmas, may we reflect on the God of love who sent Jesus to us, to save us, because of his overflow of love for his people and his creation. May we allow his love to rise up in us, flow through us and out of us in abundance. May we be a blessing of love to our loved ones and not a demanding drain. May we be settled in our hearts, sure in the knowledge that the God of love will supply all our needs.
Love came down at Christmas and love continues to come to us from the heart of God at Christmas. Let’s take some time, even right now, and say once again, ‘Jesus I love you. Fill me with your love. May it flow out of me and touch others in your name. Amen.’ Remember, “we love because he first loved us (1 John 4:19).” Blessings and enjoy the carol!