Summary: God’s Love Transforms us if we accept it and respond in love

The Word Made Flesh Advent Candle of Love December 19, 2004

The Word “Love” Made Flesh

John 3:16

We believe that love can transform us. We see it all the time in movies from romantic comedies where love transforms grumpy people into sappy people to children’s movies where love transforms the beast into the hansom prince, even action movies involve the transformative power of love. It appears that God believes the same thing. He believes that his love will transform us.

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.

O Holy Night

O holy night, the stars are brightly shining,

It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth.

Long lay the world in sin and error pining,

Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.

13Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.


On the southern border of the empire of Cyrus, there lived a great chieftain named Cagular who tore to shreds and completely defeated the various detachments of Cyrus’ army sent to subdue him. Finally the emperor, amassing his whole army, marched down, surrounded Cagular, captured him, and brought him to the capital for execution. On the day of the trial, he and his family were brought to the judgment chamber - Cagular, a fine looking man of more than 6 feet, with a noble manner about him - a magnificent specimen of a man. So impressed was Cyrus with his appearance, that he said to Cagular: "What would you do should I spare your life?"

"Your Majesty, if you spared my life, I would return to my home and remain your obedient servant as long as I lived."

"What would you do if I spared the life of your wife?"

"Your Majesty, if you spared the life of my wife, I would die for you."

So moved was the emperor that he freed them both and returned Cagular to his province to act as governor thereof. Upon arriving at home, Cagular reminisced about the trip with his wife. "Did you notice," he said to his wife, "the marble at the entrance of the palace? Did you notice the tapestry on the wall as we went down the corridor into the throne room? And did you see the chair on which the emperor sat? It must have been carved from one lump of pure gold."

His wife could appreciate his excitement and how impressed he was with it all, but she only replied: "I really didn’t notice any of that."

"Well," said Cagular in amazement, "What did you see?"

His wife looked seriously into his eyes and said, "I beheld only the face of the man who said he would die for me."

SOURCE: from the sermon "The Love of God" by John Redpath, Abingdon Press, 1979.

It’s an awesome thing: To be died for.

— Michael Benson

In the Christ child, born 2,000 years ago we behold the face of the person who would die for us.

It is this love that transforms us – that takes us from being a self-serving lost soul, to being an other-serving child of God.

But Jesus life and death was not enough to make this transformation.

In “Bruce Almighty” Jim Carey plays a man that has been given all the powers of God. He can do fantastic things, but after his girlfriend leaves him, he can’t divinely make her love him. He goes back to God and says “I can’t do it. I can’t make her love me. God (played by Morgan Feeman) says “Yeah, tell me about it.”

God in his immense power, doesn’t force his love on us, nor does he use his power to make us love him – If we want to be transformed by this love, If we want to know God’s love, we need to respond to it. We need to respond in love to God.

Then we will feel the full transforming effects of God’s love in our lives.

This is St. Paul’s Prayer for us I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit--not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength-- 17that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, 18you’ll be able to take in with all Christians the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! 19Live full lives, full in the fullness of God. – Ephesians 3

God is love & he loves you. Will you love him back?

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