Today we receive once again Love embodied on this Earth as we celebrate Jesus’s birth. No doubt we each have our favorite carols at Christmas, and my two favorites, “Love Came Down at Christmas,” and “In the Bleak Midwinter” are poems by Christina Rossetti.
Love came down at Christmas, Love all lovely, Love divine; Love was born at Christmas; Star and angels gave the sign.
Love was born at Christmas reminds me God came among us fully human, putting on the frailty of human flesh and showing us all the strength in vulnerability. An infant is the most vulnerable of humans being fully dependent on the care of others. It is this care of others to which God calls us most deeply in the life, death and new life of Jesus. Incarnate Love empties itself, pours out itself for the sake of others and, importantly, for the sake of the web of connection to which we all belong and for the manifestation of Light possible in each one of us.
Love which came down at Christmas calls us to vulnerability and to remembering we, too, are dependent on the care of others. The web of love-connection means we function all together though our egos may fight this. The web of love holds us so that we may shine forth as our best and true selves, and yet we struggle in believing this love. Instead we strive for worthiness and focus on ourselves.
My husband’s favorite carol, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” brings a similar message, though it may not seem so on the surface.
God rest ye merry gentlemen Let nothing you dismay Remember Christ our Savior Was born on Christmas Day To save us all from Satan's pow'r When we were gone astray Oh tidings of comfort and joy Comfort and joy Oh tidings of comfort and joy
Consider Jesus’s birth, the bursting of Love Incarnate on the scene, saves us from Satan’s power. What might Satan’s power be but our selfishness and difficulty in seeing beyond our own egos, or rather our own ego’s worry that we are not truly loved, or whole, or worthy simply as our true selves, no extra stories or masks required. In Jesus we remember we each are part of Love; we each are a child of God.
Remember Christ our Savior was born to save us all from selfishness and to give us strength in vulnerability as we allow our hearts to open and care for one another as children, or rather, infants of God.
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry explains well:
Selfishness exploits the other; Love sacrifices for the other.
Selfishness maroons us on islands; Love gives us the stamina to swim to the far shore.
Selfishness creates the self as the center point; Love looks to Jesus as the center point.
When Love comes down at Christmas we know we are saved from selfishness and called by Love to care deeply for one another. We are loved by Love. We are worthy. Oh tidings of comfort and joy.