Worship we the Godhead,
Love incarnate, love divine;
Worship we our Jesus:
But wherewith for sacred sign?
Love shall be our token,
Love shall be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and to all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign.
Words by Christina Rossetti, 1885
Music by Traditional Irish Melody
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
1 John 3:16 – 18
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because 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. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
1 John 4:7 – 12
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
If I were to ask you, “What do you love?” how would you answer the question. One person might say, “I love reading.” One person might say, “I love pizza.” Another might say, “I love the mountains.” And another might say, “I love my spouse.” It’s interesting how we bandy this four letter word around and it seems to have a slightly different meaning in each context. I mean, a person’s feeling about reading, pizza, the mountains and their spouse certainly aren’t the same, yet we use the same word.
So what does love mean? Contrary to what we often think of, love is not simply an emotion. Rather, I have heard it said, that love is a commitment. It goes beyond emotion. Emotions come and go, but love does not end. It is this true meaning of love that we find portrayed in the Christmas hymn, “Love Came Down at Christmas” by Christina Rossetti.
Rossetti writes, “Love was born at Christmas.” The birth of Jesus is Love, as we find in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son.” God had no obligation to send his son. He did it, because he was committed to His purpose, to save mankind. Despite our constant turning our backs on Him and choosing to follow our own direction, God still remains faithful to His commitment.
Yes Jesus is “Love incarnate, love divine.” Jesus is the commitment of God made flesh. A commitment to reach a world in need. So, “worship we our Jesus” for this truth, that He “ laid down his life for us.” (1 John 3:16)
This Love that has been given to us, now we spread to others. Rossetti writes, “Love shall be yours and love be mine, Love to God and to all men.” This reflects 1 John 4:7 which reads, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.”
So, what is love? “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 4:10) Yes, “Love came down at Christmas”, when Christ was born. When He came into this world “to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45) God is faithful, so we, in response share His love with a world in need.
Read more about “Love Came Down At Christmas.”