A Never Giving Up Kind of Love
Jonathan was busy using his chainsaw in the woods next to their house. There were nearly fifty downed trees and he was determined to clear them, so that his children could enjoy space to runaround in the woods. It was exhausting work, but he wasn’t going to quit until the job was done. They had moved from a small lot in the city, which had almost no outdoor space, to this 3-acre plot of land, so that his kids could enjoy the outdoors. He wanted his kids to feel like they could spend hours exploring the beauty of the woods. So, tree after tree, he’d slice it up and pile the wood high. The neighbors may have only been able to hear the sound of a saw, but Jonathan’s kids heard the sound of love. Their daddy was taking care of them by clearing out a safe place to play.
Isn’t that what we all want? People who love us so much that they are willing to do hard things for us. People who are never going to give up, quit early, or walk away. People who go the extra mile to show us they care. Perhaps, over the course of 2020, in the midst of much social isolation, you’ve been reminded of who those people are in your life.
In my daughter’s children’s bible, its author, Sally Lloyd-Jones, uses this wonderful phrase to describe the love God has for his children, “Never Stopping, Never Giving up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love.” Deep down inside each of us there is a need for this kind of love. A love that is always reliable and never neglectful, always present and never absent, always attuned and never indifferent. It’s the kind of love that most of us strive for and it is the kind of love that is wonderfully displayed in the birth narrative of Jesus.
Lately, I have been reading and reflecting upon the mystery of the Incarnation. The Creator became like His creation so that His creation could experience His unconditional love. In humility, Jesus left the glories of Heaven, so that He could experience life in our shoes and clear a path back to His Father in Heaven. Jesus knew he had to enter into a world full of turmoil and chaos and he knew that it would be especially dangerous for him, but the love of God motivated him to enter into the chaos and embody peace.
In John Clark’s and Marcus Johnson’s book, The Incarnation of God, they say the incarnation of Jesus is the template for how we are called to love one another. Jesus displays a courageous love that willingly leaves what is comfortable to draw near to those in pain. They go on to write, “In every situation, we are called to love others by meeting them in their need; more costly still, by meeting them in their suffering; and most costly of all, by meeting them in their shame, for was not Christ ‘numbered with the transgressors.’” Love that is willing to meet us in our time of need, suffering, and shame is the kind of love that the season of Christmas is ultimately all about.
This Christmas, if you find yourself with those you love, may you be reminded of God’s great love for you. However, if you find yourself alone, may you be comforted by God’s “Never Stopping, Never Giving up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love.” For, although God’s task was difficult, his love sustained him. May his love sustain you today and always.
Peace be upon you,
Chaplain Travis Jamieson
 Sally Lloyd-Jones, The Jesus Storybook Bible.
 John C. Clark, Marcus Peter Johnson, The Incarnation of God, pg 88.