Love Shows Up!
"But God who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us…” Ephesians 2:4 (NKJV) “Because of the tender mercy of our God, with which the Sunrise from on high will visit us…” Luke 1:78 (NASB20)
Advent. Love. We have heard love shows up so many times in relation to people who do or do not demonstrate love to others. For somebody who goes beyond expectations, we say something like, Wow, look how love shows up. I said it about the neighbor who broke into my house six years ago when both my father and father-in-law died within two days of each other. She cleaned the wilted lettuce and withering food out of my fridge and replaced it with fresh items. She did not say let me know if there is anything I can do, she thought of something and did it. Love shows up.
Alternatively, we can all recall times when the very people who should have shown up in someone’s time of need chose to be absent or silent. As an observer, we want to correct them the next time that person says the word love by saying, Come on man, love shows up!
Most of us have been both the Love Shows Up person and the Whoops, I did not know what to do so my love did not show up person. The good news is that true love is not dependent on you or me.
We know that a love beyond human love showed up in Jesus Christ. Love from on high does not just show up for a moment. It shows up for eternity. Luke 1:78 says, “the Sunrise from on high will visit us…”
And visit us, He did! Zacharias, the Father of John the Baptist announced this visit following the birth of his son. “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited and redeemed His people, And has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of His servant David…” Luke 1:68-69 (NKJV) Jesus was still in His mother’s womb, yet as Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, he prophesied of his own newborn son preparing the way for the Son who would redeem and save His people.
Because of His great love. Because of tender mercy. Because of God’s rich treasury of these, He sent the Sunrise from on high. Could there be more in those last four words than we typically see? Sunrise from on high.
The sun rises from the edge of the horizon ascending upward in the sky. From our perspective, sunrise begins at earth’s level and rises to the heavens. That is truly a picture of how love showed up. Jesus’ mission began at the same earthly level as the rest of us, born as a baby, growing, and living as a human with a defining difference. He was sinless. He was both fully God and fully man. “For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.” Colossians 2:9 (NLT) Jesus chose to lay aside his divine privileges and come in human form to serve us all because His love shows up.
Four hundred years before His birth, Malachi prophesied of this Sunrise from on high, the love that shows up, this way, “But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings…” Malachi 4:2 (NKJV)
Titus wrote that, “…the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man [showed up], not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:4-7 (NKJV)
Love showed up!
“…God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4: 8-10 (NIV)
The next time you see a picture of that Babe in the manger, speak to your own heart and remind yourself, love shows up. Embrace it for yourself, look in the mirror and tell yourself, “Love showed up for me.”