Water for the Thirsty
Weekly Devotional

Water for the Thirsty

Love Came Down At Christmas

Weekly Devotional

‘As the deer pants for streams of water so my soul pants for you, O God’. (Psalm 42:1)
‘…Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink”…’ (John 7:37)

18th December 2011

There are no easy glib answers to the problems of pain and suffering, but all our questions about God and suffering should be filtered through what we know about Jesus.

How did Jesus Christ, who was God-on-earth, respond to suffering and pain?

Quite simply, He exercised compassion.

The word ‘compassion’ comes from the Latin words com and passus and means ‘to suffer together with’.

Never do we hear Jesus say, ‘pull yourself together’, ‘maintain a stiff upper lip’.

When Lazarus, one of His close friends, died, we read: ‘Jesus wept’. Often He would reach out to the suffering masses and heal them of their sicknesses. Sometimes He cut right across custom and tradition to touch a life.

In Jesus there was clear evidence day after day of what God thought about the plight of the people who live in His world. He cared for them, strongly and compassionately.

The way Jesus responded to the needs of the men and women of His day should convince us that God is not someone who enjoys seeing people suffer.

The fact that Christ has come to our world, felt what it is like to be wrapped in human flesh and experienced what it means to feel abandoned by His Father, should forever nail the lie that God does not care.

This is the wonder of Christmas. God showed us that He loves and cares about us by coming to us as a human being. He can now truly speak the words of the poet Walt Whitman in a way he never could have before: ‘I do not ask the wounded person how he feels; I myself become the wounded person’ (“Song of Myself”)

‘Without question, this is the great mystery of our faith: Christ was revealed in a human body and vindicated by the Spirit…’ (1 Timothy 3:16)

The words of Stuart Townend come to mind:

When love came down to earth And made His home with men,
The hopeless found a hope, The sinner found a friend.
Not to the powerful But to the poor He came,
And humble, hungry hearts Were satisfied again.

What joy, what peace has come to us!
What hope, what help, what love!

When every unclean thought, And every sinful deed
Was scourged upon His back And hammered through His feet.
The Innocent is cursed, The guilty are released;
The punishment of God On God has brought me peace.

Come lay your heavy load Down at the Master’s feet;
Your shame will be removed, Your joy will be complete.
Come crucify your pride, And enter as a child;
For those who bow down low He’ll lift up to His side.

This Christmas let’s rejoice that Jesus became one of us, suffered alongside us, understands what we go through, and is compassionate to our plight.

Pastor Barry

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