Our pastor sometimes says at the end of the church service, “He loves you and He likes you. Go in peace.” It’s one of my favorite things he does.
God likes me? This wasn’t a concept I had any notion of until my adult years. Up until that point, I was still pretty focused on works, morality, doing the right thing, which clearly I felt I was failing at.
If you asked me 10 years ago what I thought about how God sees me, I would have said, “I feel like he’s always vaguely disappointed in me.” Now, a decade later, I find that to be an incredibly sad and false view of our Lord and Savior. We are children of God, which as my pastor says means we are, “Special, worthy, endowed by God with a unique set of gifts.”
As Christmas approaches and I think about Christ born here on earth, what comes to mind is that He not only LIKES us, but He likes us so much He was willing to come to earth and do life with us so we could be saved for eternity.
I love this verse in Psalm 18:19
“He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.”
He doesn’t like us because we are awesome, or because we did enough good things to measure up. The frail and fallen humans that He created matter to Him. He’s not a distant, patronizing God who heaves a big sigh and then thinks, “Well, I guess I better send Jesus down there to get them out of this scrape.”
Jesus was born as a baby into our world to love on His people and later die for us, showing His love by purchasing eternal life with himself. All over the New Testament, I see scattered reminders of His kindness and compassion. He is moved by His people. He cares.
Recall the story of Martha and Mary’s brother, Lazarus, dying. I’ll jump in at John 11:33-35, “Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. And he said, ‘Where have you laid him?’ They said to Him, ‘Lord, come and see.’ Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, ‘See how He loved him!’ ”
When Jesus saw Mary’s pain and tears, He was moved to emotion. He hurt for her. Not only that, but He was truly sad that her brother Lazarus had died even though Jesus knew He was about to raise him from the dead.
In Mark 10, in the story of the rich young ruler, the man runs to Jesus and asks how to get eternal life. Jesus parries and reminds him of the commandments. Mark 10:20-21, “And he [the man] answered and said to Him, ‘Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.’ Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him….”
Jesus looked at this man with human eyes and LOVED him.
Christmas, the celebration of the birth of Jesus, is a reminder that God was willing to go to every length to secure a relationship with His people. He doesn’t just think that we’re okay. He looks on us with eyes of LOVE. He is our heavenly Father and He thinks we are valuable and loves us so much, He didn’t even hold back His only son.
Sarah Clews loves being the wife of Carson and mother to three little girls. She received her degree in English from Corban University and still loves the craft of writing. She also helps her husband run a martial arts school. In her free time, Sarah enjoys talking with grown-ups (!), finding new authors, doing online research, and reading her favorite childhood stories to her girls.