Week Two of Advent is here. Hey, I know those cookies don’t bake themselves and it’s easy to get bogged down with all the extra activities the season brings. So if you’re reading this, good for you for spending a bit of time reflecting during this busy season! I’m concentrating on our second theme of the Light of Christmas as shown by love. I came across this poem and wanted to share it with you:
Love came down at Christmas;
Love all lovely, love divine;
Love was born at Christmas,
Stars and angels gave the sign.
-Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830-1894)
Love of Christmas
Love came down at Christmas in the form of baby Jesus. Maybe it’s the old Labor and Delivery nurse in me, but I just adore newborn babies. They are so tiny and helpless, with the softest skin and sweetest smell. I look at nativity scenes with the newborn Jesus and still marvel at the miracle of not only a newborn baby but that God chose to completely change his form to become human. To become a baby.
And he did it for love. For us. His was not a self-serving love or a warm fuzzy feeling love, but a love that makes a way for us to be in fellowship with him forever. It was his grand design in the beginning and it was his great love that made a way for it to happen.
Love in Action
He didn’t just talk about love; his love was shown by action. “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.” 1 John 4:9. He gave us the gift of Jesus.
I used to picture God as a “thunderbolt throwing” God; angry with the sin of the world and the part I played with my sinful ways. How could I be so wrong? No matter what I’ve done, God loves me with an everlasting, deep love and he desires to have a personal loving relationship with me.
A Christmas Gift
He wants us to accept this Christmas gift he offers us. We can let the gift go unopened, sitting under the tree with its wrapping intact. He took that chance, all for the desired outcome of us choosing to love him back. He waits expectantly, hoping we accept his gift, his Son, and his sacrifice.
What do we do with that? How do we say thank you for a Christmas gift so magnificent?
The following words of Jesus popped into my head: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22: 37-38
Our Response to God
It’s the response we should have when we have accepted the love he has shown us. He wants all our love- heart, soul, and mind. And out of that love should come a love for others.
Love and Light
He tells us that loving as he does shows the world we are his followers. We are a witness to him when we show love. Jesus tells us “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:35. Furthermore, he tells us in Matthew 5:14 “You are the light of the world.” That’s you and me! If we are followers of Jesus, our actions and words of love should shine like a bright light.
If we are to love like Jesus that means caring deeply for all his people. It’s action-oriented. It’s a love that benefits others before self. He showed love by caring for the physical and spiritual needs of many. Jesus showed us exactly what a compassionate, unconditional, sacrificial love looks like.
How can you show his kind of love this Christmas season? Maybe we can show more love for the people God has given us in our lives. Perhaps we can find a way to open our hearts and reach out to those who are lonely or hurting. There are so many opportunities to give in the Christmas season.
Shine the light of Jesus’ love this season in as many ways that you can. Remind the world that celebrating Christmas is celebrating the light and love of Jesus.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love comes from God” I John 4:7