Love Came Down at Christmas

Thomas Cole, “The Angel Appearing to the Shepherds”

Christmas Eve

Throughout Jesus’s ministry, people asked him to produce signs or miracles to authenticate that he was truly from God. Matthew (12:30) reports Pharisees and teachers of the law testing him–“Teacher, we want to see a sign from you”—and the multitudes who witnessed the loaves and fishes miracle demanded yet more: “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat’” (John 6:30). Frustrated that people didn’t get his transformational message, Jesus at one point observed, “Why does this generation demand a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to this generation” (Mark 8:12).

For Christina Rossetti, the sign that Jesus gave us was love, which is more powerful than any physical miracle or magical trick. In this simple but moving Christmas poem, she goes to the heart of Jesus’s message:

Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love Divine,
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and Angels gave the sign.

Worship we the Godhead,
Love Incarnate, Love Divine,
Worship we our Jesus,
But wherewith for sacred sign?

Love shall be our token,
Love be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign. 

When we plead for a sign, we are given love, which proves that God is amongst us and in us.

Merry Christmas!

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  • Literature is as vital to our lives as food and shelter. Stories and poems help us work through the challenges we face, from everyday irritations to loneliness, heartache, and death. Literature is meant to mix it up with life. This website explores how it does so.

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