Love Came Down at Christmas

Everyone who knows me will tell you that I love to dissect movie plots. A good movie will receive a fair discussion, while a dreadful film will get an eye roll or harsh criticism. However, there are times when I hear movie dialogue that leaves me in amazement and changes my perspective of a film.

In M. Night Shyamalan’s movie, “The Village,” we learn of a group of people who decide to leave society’s cruelty and attempt to forge a life in the backwoods of a deserted compound. Decades later, the head of the town, Edward Walker, has just announced the engagement of his daughter Ivy, to a respected young man, Lucius. When Lucius’s arch-rival hears of their betrothal, he stabs Lucius and leaves him for dead.  Now it is up to Ivy to leave the village for a world—she never knew existed—and retrieve medicine to save her fiancé. However, Ivy is blind and has never seen the outside world in which her family and friends have escaped. 

Mrs. Clack: “How could you have sent her? She’s blind.”

Edward: “She’s more capable than most in this village… she is led by love. The world moves for love. It kneels before it in awe.”

Here is what Edward Walker tells someone who questions his decision to allow Ivy to leave:

Thus, love must act to survive. Like a campfire, love can never remain stagnant. It requires constant stoking or a breeze to revive its embers. As Jesus’ beloved apostle John says, “Let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.” (1 John 3:18). 

That is why Christmas holds a unique place in a Christian’s life.  Jesus, who spoke all things into creation (Ps. 33:9), left heaven and entered the world as a child.  But, why bother to come to earth?  If Jesus wanted to make things easy for himself, He could have converted hearts by speaking, ‘I love you’ into our ears.  He could also create us to love Him at the moment of our birth.

But He didn’t do that.

Jesus moved from heaven to earth and took on the form of a man. Why? Because He was motivated by love.  Jesus chose a more challenging path so we would see Him and learn of His character. He gave us a testament of all the wonderful things He has done, including Christ’s ultimate sacrifice on the cross.

In his sermon, “An Everlasting Love: The Love of God,” Pastor John MacArthur says, “There is a kind of love extended to all men, and it is a necessary love because God’s nature is love, and if God has any interaction with human beings it will be based upon His nature. If you have an interaction with another human being, another person, you are interacting with whatever the components of that person’s character and personality are. And when the sinful world interacts at all with God or God with them, the truth about God will be manifest, and the truth about God is that He is love, and so love is part of that relationship.”

Thus, we can say that Jesus came to earth to woo His beloved. But instead of instant love and fellowship, Jesus faced unrequited love. Mankind turned on Him and questioned His motives and the miracles He performed for those who surrounded Him daily.

In his sermon, “Christ’s Love to His Spouse,” (Sermon #2488), Theologian C.H. Spurgeon says, “Think of it, my soul, that Jesus takes great delight in you! He became a man, and it was not good even for such a man to be alone. He could not rest till He had found you out and had wooed and won you! Will you ever deny Him your company? Will you refuse Him your heart of hearts? Will you hide from Him the secret of your soul? If so, you do a grievous wrong to Him who has deigned to stoop from the throne of His eternal glory to take delight in the company of His creature, man!”

So, this year when you see the graphic of a babe lying in a manger, remember that Jesus came to earth because He loved you. He walked amongst us so that we could see His acts of love. He died on the cross and took the penalty of our sin so that we can live with Him forever, as a pure bride.

Jesus acted upon His love. What can you do this season to return that love to Him?