Monday, December 26, 2016

The Incarnation is a celebration of God saying "Let there be Love"

When the writer of the book of Genesis depicts God as the one who is responsible for all of creation, he makes it clear that the very word of God is creative.  Before anything comes into existence, it is preceded with the phrase “and God said”. 

He makes it clear that God did not create evil.  Though as do see the serpent already in the garden, God did not speak it into existence in a deliberate way.  It was the writer’s way of imparting a theological truth – that evil was never a direct creation of God.  Evil has always been understood as a result of the freedom that God gave to his creation to turn away from the good that he had always intended for it. 

The gospel writer John is well known as the evangelist with the most developed theology of the four gospel writers.  It is in John’s writing that we see him defining God as Love.  It has to be grounded in the fact that as he lived and walked with Jesus in his lifetime, and heard Jesus talking about God and how essentially he is love, and that he came to the conclusion that Jesus shared this essence of God being Love.  It was thus revealed to him.

What makes the incarnation such a truly epic event in history is that God had entered it in a deliberate and definitive way.  While the writer of the Genesis creation story had the correct notion that God’s word was not only creative but also life-giving, he still had little notion that God in his essence is Love.  Christmas is really then the celebration of a dimension of God’s creative initiative but on a whole new level.  Christmas is where God speaks once more and effectively says, “Let there be Love”. 

It is in Jesus that God defines what love should look like.  It has to be other-centered, it has to be selfless, it has a certain sacrificial dimension to it that makes it stand out from humanity's flawed and conditioned way of loving.  Love as God demonstrates in Jesus may break barriers, but still manages to know where boundaries ought to be maintained.  Significantly, Jesus shows us how love has to embrace forgiveness in a most radical way.

When we realise anew that Christmas is essentially a celebration of God’s divine, creative and saving love, it gives us all a lasting hope that neither wanes nor dims.  Emmanuel is the reason for this because it truly means that God-is-with-us. 

I wish all of my readers a most blessed and love-filled Christmas.  Indeed, let there be love.


  1. Yes, blessed AND love filled Christmas to you too!! God has done many love filled deeds we don't even think about. How great is that! And Jesus took on and did an ultimate deed of love. Christmas is truely a time to remember how this loving God became man, through virgin Mary. Alleluia!

  2. "Christmas is essentially a celebration of God’s divine, creative and saving love, it gives us all a lasting hope that neither wanes nor dims...."

    On reading this week's post, I find myself drawn to this line above. And at this morning's mass, when the celebrant sang the beautiful Gospel reading of John (Jn1 :1-18)- which happened to be one of my favorites- I was reminded of the above quote.

    Moreover, at the homily, speaking of the last days, the homilist said that as Christians we should not be caught un-prepared or un-armed coz we have both the Incarnation & Calvary to remind us - how God took upon himself our frail humanity to enter into the "Reality" of our messy world to save us through his terrible death on the cross. Of course there were more pithy observations made but it was enough to set me thinking. Besides he threw us a challenge.......based on his Christian am I ?

    This juxtaposition of the Incarnation & Calvary in this manner seems to speak to me - at once so wonderful & so terrible ..........its message was only one word - Love

    God bless u, Fr