By Matt Tullos
Look closer into the manger. I so long for you to look into My eyes.
There was a time you saw Me as Someone who tolerated you and all the messiness of your life, not knowing for a second the depth of the love I offer. I came to you, first, as a baby so that you would know that my vulnerability is complete. I am willing to be born in the world mankind has ruined so that you will know that I am utterly and completely present for you today.
I came to you because life is filled with both risk and opportunity and you, yes singular you, were worth the risk.
I came to you because love is never forced. It can never be. On that night in Bethlehem, I had nothing to offer you except the promise that things would change if you loved Me.
I came to you because I realized that the world had gone mad with all the useless rubbish that men crave in darker shadows.
I came to you because nothing else would work.
There was no way for you to truly see the kind of love I offered without stepping out of Heaven’s splendor into the broken world east of Eden’s hope.
I came to you so that you could see how I respond to broken people- those whose lives are ruined in the morass of self-defeat.
I came to you because somewhere down the road, life had gotten so far from love that no one even knew what love looked like.
People viewed achievement, riches, sex, food and notoriety as somehow worthy of their brief time here, when an eternal bliss stood gallantly before them, offering a life they could never even imagine.
I came here to teach you how to love one another.
But greater still, I came to teach you that love is possible. Find this love and the world will be transformed like the opening of a rose.
Lose it, and life becomes obtuse and perplexing.
Do you see what my coming means?
It means that hope is not some mere fairy tale.
It means that I am not some dispassionate deity with an axe to grind when (surprise) you fail at life in solitude.
It means I’m here for you.
It means that I really don’t care how bad your story is or how badly you’ve messed things up.
It means that when you choose Me, everything in life becomes a moveable feast.
It means when you choose Me, you get it all– hope, peace, eternity, connection, time, intimacy, laughter, joy, and belonging.
Don’t you want that?
Don’t you need that?
It means that everything that happened from Bethlehem to Calvary is a message of the very nature of who I am and how I relate to you.
This child, crying in the night… I Am this helpless Child in swaddling clothes joyfully casting off the garments of heaven to come to you.
Once you see me as that kind of Savior, nothing else will be worth your efforts because I am everything you ever dreamed I could be.
Matt Tullos is associate director of communications and stewardship for Louisiana Baptists. This editorial first appeared on Tullos’ blog.