This Christmas A Wok on the Wild Side is pleased to present a message from Fr Jeremy Morgan of St Philip's in Collingwood:
We live in a world which is captivated by the concept of love, and is in many respects, obsessed by it.
We know when we feel its thrill and we know when we feel its crippling absence
– but are these experiences – often felt during 'falling in' or 'falling out of' romantic love, the fullness of Love itself?
This is a question which is much easier to ask than answer.
Certainly our contemporary culture provides us with a captivating image of romantic love – we see it in films, stories and television shows – and we are sold the lie that through an experience of romantic love, all our hopes and desires for intimacy will be fulfilled.
Our current culture encourages us to seek out this form of love and pursue it, by tying this concept in with notions of 'freedom to live how we please' and 'rights to personal happiness.'
But, when it comes to what will truly feed and fill us, romantic love is like a shadowy reflection on a cave wall, of something far more valuable.
Most of us are familiar with the rather cryptic phrase “God is love.”
So, in order for us to discern the true meaning of love, we should first turn and look to God. God's character and God's love are most clearly revealed to us in his sending his Son into the world, the event we celebrate at Christmas.
In Jesus we see the character of God revealed – our all powerful creator who has joined himself to us by being born in human flesh. And it is in his Son, Jesus, that we see the image of the invisible God and the power and beauty of unbounded love.
This is essentially the meaning of Christmas: that God came into the world, born as a helpless child, to dwell among us, so that we – fallen, lonely, and isolated creatures – may dwell and abide in God's eternal Love.
And as recipients of this magnificent love, we are called to live out that love in our lives, to share it, and spread it lavishly.