"The God who gives" (James 1:5)

If there is no God, man is but an accident of matter, energy, and chance. In such a universe, how might we explain the very human hunger for relationship— to know and be known, to love and be loved? The only answer can be: relationships are a biological accident, a cosmic joke, strangely discordant with the truly impersonal nature of everything. We are simply mud that thinks, feels, and loves. Given enough time, all our relational chaos will return to the mud whence it came and the universe will again be naturally sterile. Truly a bleak thought, you might say, and an even more bleak life-- if this were the case.

But Christmas points us to a reality much more harmonious with life as we know it to be. Ultimate reality is neither nothing nor is it no one. Ultimate reality is trip-personal: A Father, His Son, and their Holy Spirit. A community of endless love and selfless giving. The Father admiring the Son. The Son admiring the Father. And the Holy Spirit admiring the Father and the Son. Ultimate reality, you see, is others-centered.

This God doesn’t just give to Himself. He also gives to us life, existence, faculties, gifts, and a universe full of delights ready to explore. Best of all, He gave us others to enjoy it with— to enjoy them in the enjoying of everything. Others with wonderful names like father, mother, brother, sister, husband, wife, neighbor.

And even when we did our best to destroy all of this, His giving did not stop. Then He gave His best, most precious gift. He gave His Son. “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” (Galatians 4:4–5, NASB95)

Still, despite all we have done, God wants to end our alienation, to bring us into His family, and to cherish us as His well beloved children. In the final analysis, this is why the self-life will never satisfy. It is out of step with ultimate reality— who God is, who we were made to be. Ultimate reality is others-centered love.

As you face this Christmas, whatever else others may give you this Christmas time, God stands ready to give you Himself. Will you receive Him?

How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His heaven.
No ear may hear His coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him still,
The dear Christ enters in.

Merry Christmas!