Many parents discover new dimensions of love, new possibilities in the heart, because of a newborn in their lives. Likewise, the brith of Jesus grants access to new dimensions of love, unhoped for possibilities for the heart. Christmas assures us that God's love is real.
Our world is obsessed with what is real. We are focused on what is quantifiable, verifiable, and repeatable. We seek security in what can be known, manipulated and stockpiled. We need to know it is real before we will trust it. Christmas meets us there. At Christmas love is made real, made trustworthy, in the birth of this Child. We can trust this love, we can build upon this love, we can seek security in this love, because we have seen it lying in a manger.
Ancient Christians used to say that Mary conceived the Christ first in her heart before she conceived Him in her womb. First she believed the words of the angel, and then that belief took flesh. Love as a reality is not something we control or stockpile, but something we receive as a radical gift. When we receive the truth of Christmas in our hearts, we cannot help but give birth to love in the world.