God So Loved the World…

It’s Christmas Day.  I doubt that “all is calm, all is bright” or that everyone is enjoying the “white Christmas” they dreamed of.  Still, it is a wonderful day, one of the most wonderful days of the year.  It is wonderful, if for no other reason, because today we are all reminded of just how much God loves us.  John 3:16 declares, “For God so loved the world He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”  More than anything else, the message of Christmas confirms God’s love for the world.  His love was so great that He gave the best He had to offer.  He gave us His Son; He gave us Himself.

My hope this day is that all who read these words will know beyond the shadow of any doubt that they are loved.  You and I are loved unconditionally by the One who matters most and unlike the love of so many other people, God’s love is not fickle or undependable.  It is always there and always will be.  The gift of Jesus that first Christmas makes this clear.

It probably won’t surprise you that I feel that we should also pause to remember today not just God’s love for us but for all of the world—for all of Creation.  It would be egotistical of us to assume that the love of God that caused Him to send Jesus only included humans.  The Bible affirms from beginning to end God’s love for the entire world.  And I, along with many others, would also argue that the salvation made possible through Jesus Christ also affects more than just mankind.  God’s redemptive plan is cosmic in nature.  In Romans 8 Paul talks about how God’s plan includes “that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.” (v. 21)

Just as God’s love for us causes us to look differently at ourselves, God’s love for the rest of Creation should cause us to look differently at it.  We should see its goodness and worth.  It has both whether we recognize it or not for God has already established this.  If, however, we can recognize the goodness  andvalue of Creation to God we might do more to love it ourselves.  This would include not just spending more time enjoying Creation’s beauty and wonders but also attempting to preserve and protect what God has made and deemed good.

Today we should all celebrate God’s love for us but let us not forget to remember His love for the rest of the world too.  Perhaps one way we can show our appreciation to God for His gift of love expressed in Jesus is to show our love for the rest of the world by treating it better.  Merry Christmas and God bless!


(I took the top and bottom pictures at Yellowstone National Park.  I captured the middle image at Pine Mountain State Park in eastern Kentucky.)