This year, [well…actually LAST year as it’s now January] I wanted to read a dedicated Advent devotional. I also haven’t read much by Sinclair Ferguson, but have always found his teaching helpful.

Enter Love Came Down at Christmas, which I snapped up during the Ligonier Black Friday sale.  [Note for next year’s shopping…]

If you’ve never read an Advent devotional before, the idea is that you read it during well…Advent.  There are 24 devotionals running the month of December leading up to Christmas.

Love did come down at Christmas and Ferguson rightly points us to the source of love itself – Jesus.  “He shows us what love it. Love is simply being like Him.” [10]

“Love always means that you come down. It means that you use [your]gifts for the good of others, not to make yourself feel good. It means that are willing to do things that are uncomfortable or inconvenient for you, or that go unnoticed.” [17]

Indeed, Christmas is a time of year when we stop and think of others, there is no one who has ever thought more of others than Jesus Christ. [Philippians 2:5-8]

With love being the foundation, Ferguson goes on to have the reader daily reflect on other attributes of Christ.  I found this convicting and helpful, as we don’t get time off from sanctification.  It’s not often that we consider doing such soul-work at Christmas, but yet we need patience, kindness, contentment, humility, and even being well-mannered.

One day I found particularly helpful was Day 10 titled “Throw Yourself In.” Being a philosophical/worldview kind of guy the author confronts our worlds obsession with self.  “Christmas says there is a cosmic scheme of things.” Perfect segue into the riches of the gospel!

“Through faith in Jesus, we discover that our lives fit into the ‘cosmic scheme of things.’ He recreates in us a love for himself and restores us to fellowship with himself, which transforms self directed love into love of our neighbors. In this way the birth of Christ leads to our rebirth. That new birth sets us free from the tyranny of the project of the self.” [69].

The birth of Christ leads to our rebirth.  That rebirth includes the counter-cultural realization that we aren’t the centers of the universe and in fact, by rejecting the real center of the universe we have fractured our relationship with Him and have put us in the place of needing to be rescued from our sin.  Love comes down to rescue us at Christmas, and how he does that is astounding – truly the greatest gift of all.

I found this book convicting and encouraging…exactly how I like books, especially ones for such an important time of the year, when love truly came down.

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