Friday, December 23, 2011

What would you do for love?

What would you do for love?

A somewhat vague question, but one that is interesting to ponder none the less.

It sounds almost like the subtitle of some chick flick.  One I would roll my eyes at.

Most people who seem to respond to the question answer with something along the lines of "anything!"  After all, if love is everything the movies would have us believe, who wouldn't do anything for love??  Listen to a few songs on the radio.  You will hear more than your fill of lovers swearing they'd do anything for the one they love.

 "I'd catch a gernade for ya, 
throw my hand on the blade for ya.
I'd jump in front of a train for ya. 
You know I'd do anything for ya...
yes, I would die for ya."  

Just don't listen to the radio too long.  You might hear all the music associated with the other side of the coin.  The heartbreak, pain, and anger at love makes me wonder if Bruno Mar was thinking.  And with divorce rates only going up and broken families becoming the norm, I can't help but scoff at the somewhat hollow promises the movies offer.  Something's missing.  

So as Christmas approaches, I couldn't help but think about the love which we, as Christ-followers, claim has transformed our own.

The question then morphed into "What would God do for love?"

The idea of a cosmic sized God loving His tiny creatures is crazy enough.  But then deciding to love those same creatures after they turn on Him and refuse to follow or return His love.  Crazy love.

I wonder when God had the bright idea of coming down himself.  From all human viewpoints, it just seems like a bad idea.  God becoming man?  Just to try to win back these pathetic sinful little creatures?  Ridiculous.

There is nothing glorious or legendary about it.  The story of Christ lacks the poetry of mythology.  Who's the hero??  The one who was born in a dirty stable?  The one who hung out almost exclusively with the social outcasts of the day?  The one who reached the height of public acclaim a few days before the crowd turned and brutally murdered Him?  Some hero.  Christ doesn't act like a hero, but a servant.  God descending to the land of the mortals is anything but glorious. It must have been mortifying and a little bit enraging for the angels to watch their master humble himself to the size of an embryo and go through the ordeal of human childbirth, let alone in a forgotten stable.   What would it have been like to watch the God of the universe as a human baby, puny and crying in the used straw?

 And all for the love of these mortals who would spit in his face and nail him to a tree thirty-three years later.

Immanuel.  God with us.  The scope of God humbling himself to the level of His creation is unimaginable.   Us deciding to become down to the level of a fruit fly or a cockroach still wouldn't be close.

What would God do for love?  Well, it doesn't end there.  He came for a reason: to die. 

[Jesus Christ], who, being in very nature God,
   did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
 rather, he made himself nothing
   by taking the very nature of a servant,
   being made in human likeness.
 And being found in appearance as a man,
   he humbled himself
   by becoming obedient to death—
      even death on a cross!

                                              (Philippians 2)

You think you love someone?  You think you would do anything for the one you love?  Alright.  Become nothing.  Become their servant.  And be willing to die every day for them.  That's the love that continues to rock the world.