The Old Testament book of Hosea is a favorite of mine. It is the story of Hosea’s love for his unfaithful wife Gomer. It is a metaphor for God’s love for Israel and the world he promised to bless through Abraham. In his introduction to the Book of Hosea in the Prayer Devotional Bible, Ben Patterson writes: “New Testament scholar Anders Nygren described God’s love as “subject-centered” as opposed to “object-centered.” Object-centered love flows because the object of love, the beloved, is so irresistibly wonderful. This kind of love is more a reflex than a choice. This kind of love leads one to “fall” in love. On the other hand, subject-centered love originates in the lover, not because the beloved is so lovable , but because the lover is. This kind of love is definitely a choice. But it does not mean that it is any less passionate.”
God chose to love the world that breaks his heart. He proved that love by sending his son, Jesus, to earth to show us his heart and to die for our sins. He has shown us how to love our husbands, our wives, our children, our neighbors – not as a reflex but as a choice, as a sacrifice. Let us love others as he has loved us this Christmas and all year long, as our gift of profound gratitude to him.