Greetings and my apologies for being so long in writing. With everything going on this year it seems I have not been able to be as faithful to this blog as I should be. I am hoping to rectify that moving forward. Still amazingly enough with everything that has gone on, I feel as if I have been transported across the year to December and Christmas is upon us! I don’t know if anyone else is feeling that way but it seems as if the year has been all a haze and how did we get here?
That being said, we are here and as usual there is much going on related to it and Christians have every reason to be just a joyous as they always are. This is the season when believers celebrate the birth of their Lord and Savior, that moment when God burst into history and the Word became flesh. Yes I know there is much distress, confusion, and chaos in the world and that is something that will always remain and trying to make but so much sense out of it is pointless. Most of the things that are going on are far beyond our control so why stress? Yes I know this is much easier done than said, but again with the season that is upon us, let us focus upon that instead.
So what are we focusing on exactly? For me it is the greatest of all gifts from God and that is Love. Love stands behind everything. The fact that Jesus came, the ministry of Jesus, and His act of redemption on the cross that would restore me (and every other believer) to right relationship with God, all was and is motivated by Love. So it is with Love we should move through every day and especially Christmas. Now in thinking on Love we have to change our thinking just a little. Mostly we think of love as that warm fuzzy feeling we get when around friends and family, holding a spouse, or snuggling a puppy / kitten / etc… But the love I am speaking of us much more potent and abiding. The love that God showed us it what is referred to in the Bible as “agape” love. This is one of the four words used by the Greeks to describe the feelings we all place under the heading of love. To be fair it was not commonly used before the New Testament and it was the Biblical writers who used it to great affect. Agape love is a love of compassion that is not based upon the object of love. That is it is love just because. God loves us because we exist and nothing more. It is unconditional in its purest sense. Its not based on attraction, on conditions, on the idea of getting something in return. It is not based on anything found in the object. This is rather astounding when you think about it.
Now with this being Christmas let’s carry it a bit further. If this is the season to love like no other then it should be the season where Christians demonstrate true love (agape). This means doing things, giving things, being helpful, charitable, gracious, generous, etc… for no other reason than just to do it. This can manifest itself in all sorts of ways, but ultimately it means we as believers put ourselves second and we put other people first. It means we don’t try to get all we can but we try to give all we can. This is difficult and contrary to popular culture and society, but what better time than Christmas, when our Savior came as a baby in a stall, to show the world just how truly different Christians are and what it means to be covered by Grace.
So I encourage you to join with me and celebrate this season by seeing how many different ways we can love everyone around us just as God loved us.