Love!

Jan Antonsson

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The Glory Road Blog, A Kingdom Highway

December 21, 2016

Neosho, MO

“See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are” (I John 3:1, RSV).

In one of the poems the Lord gave me to share with the old dears at Medicalodge (local nursing home), where I did the Sunday service, the opening lines were, “No one knows the date when love swallowed hate.”  The Bible is silent about WHEN Jesus was born because we don’t really need to know that.  The church world celebrates December 25th as the day, and that’s how most people think of it, but we really don’t know when He was born, only WHY.  The incarnation is the pivotal point of God’s dealings with His children on this small blue-green planet, our transport around the sun. Emmanuel, God with us, was made manifest in the stream of history and everything changed.

The worlds were created by Him, and without Him nothing was created (See Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2).  Let that thrill you for a moment as you digest the implications of it.  The God of heaven and earth said, “Let there be Light,” and there was light.  Of course there was, because He himself IS light.  He can only be what he is.  Once your mind wraps around that, take it one step further and consider that this One we were taught to fear and obey or else, now lives in us.  He IS our Hope of Glory.  We are His temple.  Those words are almost beyond the power of humankind to grasp.  Only by the Spirit can any of it seem real to us.

This morning, as I was trying to get my brain engaged, before my first cup of coffee, the power of love nearly knocked me off my feet.  God’s love IS the most powerful force in the Universe!  By it, He breathed His breath of life into Adam, and all the rest of us who came after.  When He called Abraham, our father in the faith could do nothing less than to follow after this marvelous being who overshadowed him with love and power.  His love caused Pharaoh’s daughter to pluck baby Moses from the basket made of bullrushes his mother had placed him in, to save him from Pharaoh’s wrath.  His love looked like a burning bush to Moses years later as he received the call to go to Egypt to set God’s people free.

In the Old Testament, God’s love often looked like wrath poured out on either the children of Israel, or their enemies, but in fact, love was the fuel behind the power which delivered Abraham’s offspring from Pharaoh, led them to the Promised Land, made them a nation to be feared by their pagan neighbors, and set the stage for Jesus to come on the scene.

Because God’s might was powerful and usually destructive against His enemies, it must have been a total shock, that Jesus was born of a human woman who willingly accepted the seed of God.  Receptivity is Mary’s greatest gift to us.  When God called, she said, “Yes,” in spite of the detriment to her reputation caused by bearing a child out of wedlock, one whose father was not Joseph, her betrothed, but God Himself. What must the neighbors have thought?

All any of us can do when God calls, is say, “Yes,” knowing that the way forward may be rocky, over hills and valleys with cactus patches here and there, but through all that, He holds our hand.  I once said to my dear friend and mentor, Harry Fox, “I’m holding tight to God’s hand.”  He instantly replied, “You’ve got it backwards honey child.  He’s the one holding you tight.” 

It also came to me forcefully that the passion between lovers is really a picture of God’s passion for us, though most people don’t make the connection.  My dear friend John Gavazzoni has said many times that God’s passionate love for us resembles and exceeds the physical desire that lovers have for each other.

A beautiful example of this happened to another dear friend of mine.  She had managed to live to a ripe old age without any entanglements of the heart, until one day, she met a man in a supermarket and they struck up a conversation.  Long story short, they fell in love, but eventually, her fears took hold and she bolted.   She confessed to me recently that she missed him, felt depressed to be alone, which by the way, she had been her whole life, but since she’d never felt love for or from someone, she didn’t realize what she was missing.

After wrestling with the question, “Should I call him or not,” who knows how many times, she finally did call him.  Turns out, he had been missing her as well.  You’ve heard of a May – December romance?  This one is a December – December romance which thrills my heart and proves yet again what God has shown me, and that is that true love, the kind where two hearts meet and entwine, is “deep calling unto deep.”  It is God’s love manifested in flesh and blood, and nothing else can satisfy the soul who has felt such love.  It is because of this love that God has for us, that we love each other.  And because He has generously bestowed this love in our hearts, we love Him beyond what we ever dreamed possible.

In his meditation today (December 20th), entitled, “Those who love others,” Richard Rohr wrote,  “Jesus says, ‘I’ll be with you only a little while longer. So I’m going to leave a sign that I’m still here. I’m going to reveal myself in the presence of loving people.’ That’s the only way anyone can know God. If you’ve never let anyone love you, if you’ve never let love flow through you, gratuitously, generously, undeservedly, toward other people, you can’t possibly know who God is. God is just a theory or abstraction. But “God is love” (1 John 4:8). And those who live in love live in God and know God experientially. There’s no other way you can know who God is, and who you are, but to love  (Genesis 1:26-27). Take that as an absolute!   End Quote.

I’ve quoted this poem by Rhett Miller the past two years because it is a good description of what we all want and need from God.  Here it is again:

Here it is Christmastime

When we were born we were swaddled and snuggled

Whispered to, fussed over, tickled and cuddled

When we grow up, things get muddled

And here it is, Christmas time.

And we all want someone, who’ll love us and hold us

To curl up alongside, when nights are the coldest

And we all want someone, who’ll hug us and kiss us

All I want is you for Christmas

Let us examine the holiday spirit

Let the small kids sing so we can all hear it

Light up a fire and pull the chair near it

Cuz here it is, Christmas time

And we all want someone, who’ll love us and hold us,

To curl up alongside, when nights are the coldest

And we all want someone, who’ll hug us and kiss us

All I want is you for Christmas

When we are born we are swaddled and snuggled

Whispered to, fussed over, tickled, and cuddled

When we grow up, things get muddled

And here it is Christmas time

We all want someone who’ll love us and hold us

To curl up alongside, when nights are the coldest

And we all want someone, who’ll hug us and kiss us

All I want is you (Jesus) for Christmas

All I want is you for Christmas.

And all the Saints said, “Amen.” 

Jan Antonsson 

Jan Austin Antonsson

17178 Highway 59, Neosho, MO 64850

All our writings from 1997-2010 are on

The Glory Road

Our writings from 2010 to the present are on this blog.

We always enjoy hearing from you!

Jantonsson@aol.com

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