The Pastor's Buzz

Pastor Buzz Trexler's blog for God's people in The Meadow.

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Name: Buzz Trexler
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee, United States

Journalist for 29 years; married to Donna for 28 years; parent of David, 27, and Elizabeth, 24; pastor of Green Meadow United Methodist Church in Alcoa since 2002.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas: When Love Came to Town



The story goes that a boy and his dad were walking through the woods one day when they came upon some ants working furiously to clear a path, but didn’t seem to be getting anywhere.

The bod and his dad watched the ants work for a long time. At some point, the boy looked at his dad and said, “You know, Dad, if I could become one of them for a short time, I could help them.”

God loved Creation so much, that he injected himself into Creation as Jesus the Christ. C.S. Lewis writes, “He loved us not because we were lovable, but because He is love.”

That is essential for us to understand: God is love, and because Jesus Christ was God incarnate, Christ was love. And because Christ has risen, Christ is love.

English poet Christina Georgina Rosetti penned a number of poems, including two that have found their place as hymns in the United Methodist Hymnal: “In the Bleak Midwinter,” and “Love Came Down at Christmas.”

In her poem, “Love Came Down at Christmas,” Rosetti writes:

"Love came down at Christmas, love all lovely, love divine.

"Love was born at Christmas — star and angels gave the sign.

“Worship we the Godhead, love incarnate, love divine.

“Worship we our Jesus — what shall be our sacred sign?”

When I think of that song today, I think of a song that U2’s Bono and blues legend B.B. King once teamed up to perform: “When Love Comes to Town.” Here’s a taste of the lyrics:

"I was there when they crucified my Lord.

"I held the scabbard when the soldier drew his sword.

"I threw the dice when they pierced his side.

"But I’ve seen love conquer the great divide.

"When love comes to town, I’m gonna catch that train.

"When love comes to town, I’m gonna catch that flame.

"Maybe I was wrong to ever let you down, but I did what I did before love came to town."

Because love came to town in the God-man Jesus Christ, the world has never been the same.

Because love came to town, a handful of disciples followed an itinerant preacher, and the world was turned upside down.

Because love came to town, the hungry have been fed.

Because love came to town, the naked have been clothed.

Because love came to town, the imprisoned have been visited.

Because love came to town, we have been challenged to love our enemies — and given the power of the Holy Spirit with which to do so.

Because love came to town, this community of faith has embraced teen moms and given them an opportunity to build a better life for the children they have brought into this world.

Because love came to town, several communities of faith in Blount County have joined together to shelter homeless families in a new organization called Family Promise of Blount County.

Because love came to town, workers recently banded together to help put food on the table, gas in the tanks, and a few gifts under the trees of colleagues who have been laid off.

I dare say that when love comes to town in your heart, you look at Christmas as something far more meaningful than the change of celestial seasons. You may even see it as an incarnational event that has transformed your life. I know I do.

When we think of the baby Jesus, lying in a manger, we think of love. Yes, love came to Bethlehem town: Love was eventually rejected; love was beaten; love was crucified on a cross; and love was buried in a borrowed tomb — but love rose again.

And because love came to town, my sins, your sins, have been forgiven.

Green Meadow United Methodist Church has a place in cyberspace, it’s called TheMeadow.org.

I couldn’t help but put the U2 and B.B. King video performance of “Love Comes to Town” on our church’s Web site as we lead up to the Christmas Eve worship experience. (I’ve since moved on to another video, but you can find the U2-B.B. King performance on YouTube.)

During that video rendition, Bono says, “B.B. King not only invented the blues, he’s got a cure for the blues.”

To which B.B. responds, “Yes, my cure for the blues tonight is love.”

“I said my cure for the blues tonight is love. Is there love in the house tonight? Is there love in the house enough tonight to make you want to help somebody? Is there love enough tonight to not make you want to hurt anybody?

“Then … there’s love … in the house tonight.”

"I was there when they crucified my Lord.

"I held the scabbard when the soldier drew his sword.

"I threw the dice when they pierced his side.

"But I’ve seen love conquer the great divide."

The divide between us and God has been bridged through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. The great gulf of death has been conquered by the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

“Love came down at Christmas, love all lovely, love divine.

“Love was born at Christmas — star and angels gave the sign."

It’s my prayer that love will come to town in your heart in 2009.

Grace and peace ...

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