Advent week 4: LOVE

Written by Brian Beattie from Brantford, Ontario

Indescribable love – 2 Corinthians 9:15 …“thanks be unto God for His indescribable gift.“

Let’s be honest – most, maybe all the gifts we will give this Christmas will be given because we have obligations to kids, spouses, family or co-workers.

The remarkable thing about God’s indescribable gift is that he owed us nothing! In fact, the truth is while we were still far from God, doing our own thing, God proved His love for us by sending His Son. God gives a gift, not because He feels obliged, but because His love is so overwhelming – it’s who He is.

In 451 AD, the greatest theological minds of the time came together and tried to describe Jesus at Council of Chalcedon. They agreed that Jesus was …Perfect in Godhead & also perfect in manhood. Truly man of a reasonable, rational soul & body. Consubstantial, co-essential with the Father according to the manhood. In all things like unto us without sin. Begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead. And in these latter times for us & for our salvation, born of the virgin Mary & of the mother of God. According to the… … manhood – one & the same Christ, Son, Lord, only begotten to be acknowledged in two natures. Inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably & the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved.”

Did you read that? Did you understand that? Do you think that is sufficient to describe God becoming flesh?

Please!

I find it most incredible, the indescribable incarnation as a whole. How do you adequately describe the theological notion that God became flesh? At the risk of sounding heretical, I would say our feeble attempts are at best poor and possibly self-aggrandizing – little, tiny mortals, with tiny, little, finite abilities throwing around our best, yet meagre doctrinal attempts to describe a perfect, infinite Being.

Go ahead, try to adequately describe the incarnation, the virgin birth, God’s eternity, the Trinity. And when you are done, I will say, “nice try, but He is still indescribable”.

The Apostle John, the disciple whom Jesus loved (his words, not mine) penned what today is arguably the best known verse in the Bible …”for God so loved the world “ – well, you know the rest. He also wrote a few other things, including 1 John 3:1 …See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!

Let me take a little licence here a put that into the form of a question. What kind of love is it that we can be called the children of God?

And my answer would be …indescribable.

It’s the kind of love, however, that makes a Christian-killer like Saul change everything about his life to become the amazing Apostle Paul who recognizes that the greatest quality of life is indescribable love.

It’s the kind of love that makes a big, thunderous fisherman like John become a mushy author who writes about a Friend who leans on his breast during meals and lavishes love on us like a carefree Father.

It’s the kind of love that is indescribable …and I’m OK with that.

To be honest, if I felt like I could totally, adequately describe this kind of love, I would probably devalue it.


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