Remembering God’s Great Love

Exodus 15:1-18
1Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord, saying, “I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea. 2The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him. 3The Lord is a man of war; the Lord is his name. 4“Pharaoh’s chariots and his host he cast into the sea, and his chosen officers were sunk in the Red Sea. 5The floods covered them; they went down into the depths like a stone. 6Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power, your right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy. 7In the greatness of your majesty you overthrow your adversaries; you send out your fury; it consumes them like stubble. 8At the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up; the floods stood up in a heap; the deeps congealed in the heart of the sea. 9The enemy said, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil, my desire shall have its fill of them. I will draw my sword; my hand shall destroy them.’ 10You blew with your wind; the sea covered  them; they sank like lead in the mighty waters. 11“Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders? 12You stretched out your right hand; the earth swallowed them. 13“You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed; you have guided them by your strength to your holy abode. 14The peoples have heard; they tremble; pangs have seized the inhabitants of Philistia. 15Now are the chiefs of Edom dismayed; trembling seizes the leaders of Moab; all the inhabitants of Canaan have melted away. 16Terror and dread fall upon them; because of the greatness of your arm, they are still as a stone, till your people, O Lord, pass by, till the people pass by whom you have purchased. 17You will bring them in and plant them on your own  mountain, the place, O Lord, which you have made for your abode, the sanctuary, O Lord, which your hands have established. 18The Lord will reign forever and ever.”

This seems an odd reading for Christmas, and yet it is not. This passage is the song of praise lifted up to God in response to His release of the captives from Egypt. Through His servant, Moses, God brings freedom to hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people. They had been in slavery for almost 400 years. Their song of joy is appropriate, and heart felt. This song is the response of love and gratitude for the goodness and power of God.

The reason God did this great thing for His people is because of His great love for them. Because of that love, God had a plan for them and followed through with that plan. Throughout the Old Testament, we find that God follows through with His plan of salvation. Each story, each situation, each hero of the faith is yet another piece of God’s plan for all of us. Each of these stories is built out of God’s love for us. The culmination of that story is found in the Infant Savior, born to Mary and Joseph. His story begins the ultimate act of love the world has ever seen. The Christmas Story is all about the Love of God.

The last candle on the Advent wreath represents the Love of God (another Fruit of the Spirit). As we gaze upon the Infant we are looking into the face of God’s great plan of salvation. His love carried that plan through thousands of years of human history so that He could complete what God had promised Adam and Eve. In His great love, we are saved.

As a part of Christmas week, look back over your life with God and celebrate not only His birth, but all that He has done for you. I promise, He has done more than you could ever imagine (or probably remember) but rehearsing His love is a faith-grower. It’s worth the time and adds richness to this birthday celebration.