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Advent: God's Love in NOT a Metaphor

"Love is more than a metaphor for God. Much more.

Love is inseparable from God, because God truly is love.

It’s not a word picture like, “A mighty fortress is our God,” or, “The Lord is my rock.” The Bible describes God as everything from a potter to an eagle—simple metaphors meant to reveal his nature to us.

But when scripture says “God is love”, it’s not an allusion to God wanting to send us valentines or whisper sweet nothings in our ear. “God is love” is a truth statement. A revelation. A definition.

God is love.

He is patient and kind. Compassionate and overflowing with with truth. He hates injustice. He celebrates goodness. He is not jealous or boastful or pushy or spoiled or moody. He is not fickle or fearful or far away. He is steadfast and he never grows weary in these things.

God is love.

If we could reduce him to a one-dimensional monarch, his one dimension would be love. But, that, of course, would make him multidimensional because love is the sum of all good things.

God is love.

He is the master of meeting needs. The quintessential caregiver. The connoisseur of compassion. The giver of grace. Jurist of justice. Hater of hubris. Agent of atonement. Purveyor of peace.

He doesn’t need the alliteration, but I think he deserves it.

God is love.

Love is not just something he has for the world (as in John 3:16). Love is who he _is_ for the world (as in 1 John 4:16).

He is love, and he has love. In him we know love, and in love we know him. Nothing can separate him from this most powerful of virtues.

In creation, he is love. In the fall, he is love. In his commands, he is love. In his promise, he is love. In our pain, he is love. In our weakness, he is love. On the throne, he is love. And in a manger, he is love.

That’s Christmas. When love put skin on and came to us in the nighttime. To meet our greatest need. To care for us. To administer justice and give us grace. To atone for our sins and reestablish our peace with God.

God is love.

And Jesus, as his son, is “the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being” (Hebrews 3:1).

When Jesus was born, love broke into the human realm for the first time. A true love. A radical love. An “I will give my life for you” love that we had never known. A love we didn’t (and still don’t) deserve.

This Christmas, I am thankful that God is love. And that who he is compelled him to step into my world and save me when he had every right to leave me to rot in my sin and condemnation. And because he has loved me so severely, I can love him without shame and extend his love to others without exception.

God is love.

I pray that reading this has stirred your heart to commune with God. To seek an encounter with real love. Wildly extravagant, wholly indescribable, beautiful, unconditional and constant LOVE."

Merry Christmas!

- By the lovely Shawndra Lucas

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