TITLE: What God Looks Like
DATE: December 11, 2019
Christ is risen. He is risen, indeed.
TEXT: John 3:16 – ESV - 16 “For God so loved the world,[a] that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
What does God look like? It's an interesting question.
On Christmas Eve a woman visited the home of a little girl who had a most excellent doll collection.
"Which one is your favorite doll?" the woman asked, trying to make conversation. "Promise you won't laugh if I tell you?" "I won't laugh." The little girl brought out a doll that was the most tattered and pathetic doll she had ever seen. The nose was broken off, an arm was cracked, one arm was missing and its face was disfigured. "Why do you love this one the most?" the woman asked.
The little girl replied, "Because she needs it most. If I didn't love her nobody would."
Now, as a Pastor I've seen human love. I've seen it at weddings. Oh, not between the bride and groom. If you want to see real love at a wedding, you have to look at the grandmothers who are remembering their wedding day many years ago and thinking upon all the good and bad this young couple cannot anticipate. They would share their memories of that day, but nobody asks them, so all they do is love.
Yes, I've seen love. I've seen it in the eyes of my wife who takes the first spring dandelions that Kurt has been bringing her for over 40 years. ( I'm proud of him for that) and she puts them in a cut glass vase. I've seen it as she has preserved the crayon colored cards with backward letters that her daughters have given her.
I've seen love in the smile of a father who watches his eight year old retarded son button his shirt for the first time. I've seen love in the eyes of an 83 year old widow who was going to the nursing home. As she shut the door of the house where she had lived in happy marriage for 51 years, where she had raised her four children, love was there. I've seen love in the face of the young adult in our congregation who has tears in her eyes every time she takes Communion. I've seen love in the eyes of a mother when her son got off the plane, returning from a stint in Afghanistan.
Yes, I've seen love, but it's not sustained. Human beings can't do it. It is there, but it is only a flash, only fleeting. And then it's gone. Things get in the way, they bump it to the side.
But God’s love is different. Do you remember what the little girl said about her doll? “I love this one because she’s so bad nobody else would.. or could..”
That little girl correctly echoed the words of the angels on Christmas Eve. God loved us when nobody else would. To the government we are a number to be processed, polled and tallied. To business we are consumers with wallets to be emptied. But to God, we are objects of pity, mercy and grace.
God loved us when nobody else would. He tells us that in the words of the angels. They are clear words. Everyone can understand them. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, Which is Christ the Lord." As they spoke, the angels tell us exactly and in no uncertain terms what God looks like. God looks like love. He looked like love in a Bethlehem manger; He looked like love on a Roman cross and He most definitely looked like love when the risen Redeemer declared to the world salvation and forgiveness had been won.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, for Your ongoing love; Your blood—bought forgiveness; Your free gift of heaven, I offer my thanks and praise. In Your holy Name I pray it. Amen.
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann. He along with three of his brothers perform on the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html