Galatians 3:6-14; 2 Samuel 7:18, 23-29; Luke 1:46b-55
Love makes you do funny things. Not funny “Haha,” although in some cases that may be true, but funny as in ironic or even not according to plan. As I write this, I am the only person in our little apartment who is not sick. There’s nothing like the Christmas season and sickness to bring a family together. I love my little girl. I was doing my best to keep my distance so as to avoid the plague, but when I saw her crying because she did not feel good, I did the opposite of what one who wants to stay healthy should do. I got up, sat down beside her, hugged her, and prayed. Love makes you do funny things.
As I read today’s passages, I found something very simple, yet quite profound. God’s love for us is not funny; it is not ironic; it is not even not according to plan. God’s love for us is intentional. Too often we look at ourselves and our lives and wonder, “How could God love this? How can God bless this?” Regardless of how we feel concerning our situation, God intentionally loves us. Because He intentionally loves us, we should intentionally serve and worship him. Let me show you what I found in these readings.
I saw that in our first reading of Galatians 3, Paul reminds us of God’s promise to bless all the nations of the world through Abraham. It is an intentional blessing of intentional love. This blessing came through the descendant of Abraham, Jesus Christ. It is by His sacrifice that Paul says we can receive through faith the blessing of Abraham, which is the promise of the Spirit – salvation from our sins and empowerment for service.
Our second reading finds the great King of Israel, David, asking God a question that I myself have often asked: “Who am I?” This question is not one of identity or self worth, but rather it comes from a place of genuine awe as David looks at his life and sees the blessings and love of the Lord around him. I believe this question is really a cry of worship because it recognizes the smallness of the human situation and the greatness of God’s love in choosing to love us anyway. David’s praise continues on to the situation of his people. He declares that God has redeemed His people Israel. David is, of course, reflecting back upon the Exodus from Egypt and God’s deliverance of His people from slavery. Yet, it would be by David’s descendant, just as with Abraham, that God would redeem His people by delivering them from their slavery to sin. God intentionally redeemed Israel because of His great love. God intentionally blessed David because He loved him.
In our final reading from Luke, I heard the praise of Mary. She says, “My soul exalts the Lord” – why? – because “the Mighty One has done great things for me.” What a statement! She shows us again that God’s love for His children is not a random chance occurrence, but that God intentionally blesses. What is even more incredible is what those great things are. God chose Mary, and God chose to save the world. Just like Abraham and David, it would be through Mary’s descendant that God would intentionally do this.
So remember, Jesus is God’s intentional love. Not just for everyone, but for you.