On Childhood by Henri Nouwen (from the book, “Jesus: A Gospel”)

God says, “I love you with an everlasting love,” and Jesus came to tell us that. We are the Beloved, not because we did anything, not because we proved ourselves. Basically, God loves us whatever we do. If that’s true, these few years that we are in the world, we are sent to say, in the midst of our life, “Yes, God, I love you, too.”

Just as God cares for us, it’s very important that we care for God in the world. If God is born like a little baby, God cannot walk or speak unless someone teaches God. That’s the story of Jesus, who needs human beings in order to grow. God is saying, “I want to be weak so you can love me. What better way to help you respond to my love than becoming weak so you can care for me?” God becomes a stumbling God who falls at the cross, who dies for us, and who is totally in need of love. God does this so we can get close. The God who loves us is a God who becomes vulnerable, dependent in the manger and dependent on the cross, a God who basically is saying, “Are you there for me?”

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