By Brent Vawter

Riddle: What has 16 characters, 4 set locations, 2 writers and 1 plot? The answer: Every Hallmark Christmas movie ever made. (Sounds about right.)

Now let’s tweak that: What has 3000 characters, 35 writers, took 1500 years to write, and has 1 plot? The answer: the Bible.

Like those Hallmark movies, the Bible is one big love story. From creation to Revelation, the Bible traces God’s plan for humanity as it unfolds across generations, revealing a love so intense and intentional that it no longer resembles any Hallmark movie because it anything but predictable. As we see in the Christmas story, it’s even incomprehensible.

We asked for someone to save us from our struggles.
He sent One who would save us from our sin.


We wanted a better life.
He gave us a baby born to die.


We wanted our rights restored and the power to self-govern.
His very birth was the picture of humility and surrender.


Everything about the Christmas story was unexpected. Even the timing of it.


But at His pre-determined moment in human history, God revealed the central character in His great love story, just as He had planned from the beginning. In doing so, He not only made the way for us to know the hope, the peace and the joy that we’ve already celebrated this Advent season, He also displayed the kind of unconventional love we are called to show others. Here are 4 truths about this love that we see in the birth of Christ:


  1. Love involves both decision and affection. It’s not just willing, but also preferring and wanting and delighting. The angels not only announced the birth of Jesus, they sang of God’s goodwill and pleasure with His people.
    “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.” – Romans 12:10

  2. Love takes the initiative, and it expresses itself in action. God inserted Himself into the human experience to reveal Himself and remove the one thing that stood between us. He knew we couldn’t do this on our own, so He took action.
    For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

  3. Love seeks the higher good. It wants and works for the benefit of others. It is not self-serving but gives sacrificially for the advantage of others. God’s plan was never to abandon us to ourselves and leave us separated from Him, but to reveal Himself, invite us into a relationship, and give us the assurance of eternity with Him.
    “[Love] does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, …” – 1 Corinthians 13:5

  4. Love is distinctive, not because it’s flashy or calls attention to itself, but because it’s transformational. It is bent on helping others fulfill God’s purposes in their lives, which inherently changes us as it moves us closer to Him.
    "For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves” – Colossians 1:13


Think and pray

Everything that God has done for man – from the creation to the birth, death and resurrection of Christ, to the promise of His return – points to His determined, affectionate, active, sacrificial and unmistakable love for us. It’s an undeserved gift that we must receive, and it comes with the instruction to then give it away to others.

God, thank you for your Son, Jesus. There is no greater gift You could give us, no greater act of love, than that of sending Jesus to walk this earth with us and make a way for us to once again be close to You. Thank You that even when we don’t deserve it, You love us. Help us to celebrate Your love this Christmas season and be bold enough to share it with others.



Brent Vawter is a Senior Area Director for CBMC Oklahoma. Having spent the first 30 years of his career helping several Fortune 100 companies with their marketing and operations, he now focuses his efforts on helping businessmen grow in their relationship with Christ and discover greater purpose in life and meaning in their work.