Tag Archives: love

Above All Else Christmas Means LOVE!

“Fixing our eyes on God, living in the love He has for us, is a fool-proof way to love your neighbor better.”
~Bob Goff

     Christmas 2019 became history yesterday. At our house, we’re already thinking about taking down the beautifully decorated tree. It doesn’t look nearly as welcoming without brightly wrapped gifts beneath. In a few days, Ron will disconnect the timer which has turned on cheery outdoor Christmas lights since Thanksgiving.

     Christmas Eve, our two youngest grandkids,8-year-old Emmi and 4-year-old Reeve, lit the candle representing Jesus on the Advent Wreath. It joined the candles of HOPE, PEACE, JOY and LOVE.

     I now find myself asking, “Where the rubber of my faith meets the often mundane, cluttered and unkind road of life, how do I keep alive the Light of LOVE Christmas is all about?” I appreciate this perspective from Mother Teresa:

It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you…
yes, it is Christmas every time you smile…and offer…your hand.
~ Mother Teresa

     The word “love” is used over 200 times in the New Testament. John, the youngest of Jesus’ twelve original disciples, penned those words a whopping 71 times.

     John often described himself as the “one whom Jesus loved.” There wasn’t a doubt in John’s mind that he was beloved by Jesus, and he in turn loved Jesus deeply.

     So, how can I, how can you, love Jesus deeply?

     An elderly Apostle John wrote words answering that question. Words that remain relevant to you and me in the 21st Century.

 Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.  But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.

1 John 4:7-11 (NLT)

     Challenging and inspirational words! If I’m honest, however, I confess way too often, I desire to be loved by Jesus more than I want to love like Jesus. This is an area of life where I want to grow. I know God honors a desire to love well and will give opportunities to do so–even sometimes when we’d rather not be faced with the reality of how far we fall from the standard of God’s unimaginable and unconditional love.

     As we recover from the stress of the Christmas season caused by too much—perhaps too much spending, decorating, gathering with family and friends and eating rich foods—I hope you’ll join me to reflect on the gift of God’s LOVE, EMMANUEL.

In closing today’s post, I want to quote one of my favorite characters from one of my favorite books: Tiny Tim from A Christmas Carol,

“…And God bless us everyone!”

Sue Reeve

&,

I WANT TO ANNOUNCE

THE WINNER OF THE 2020 CALENDAR IS…

Lenore McDonald!

Lenore has been a long-time reader and frequent encourager.

Thank you to all who commented. You’ve blessed Ron and me. (This giveaway was so much fun, we’ll be doing it again!)

Advent – Week Four LOVE

My Advent Prayer: As I ponder the mystery of this last week of Advent, help me, O, Lord, connect more deeply with Your love for me and for every person whose story has, is, or will intersect mine.

     This final week of Advent, Ron and I lit the candle of LOVE. It joined the three previous candles, symbolizing Hope, Peace and Joy.

     If I were asked to describe God in only one word, I would choose LOVE.

     My favorite name for Jesus is Emmanuel—God with Us. One of the things I love most about the Gospels is that through the stories and words of Jesus, I see—in a way my humanity is able to comprehend—the love of God through the example of how Jesus did life in his humanity.

     A spiritual understanding of divine love is not a one-time event but an ongoing journey.

     In today’s post I’d like to highlight a Christmas hymn with which I wasn’t familiar until last year. I appreciate the profound simplicity of these lyrics written by Christina Rosetti (1830-1864).

Love Came Down at Christmas[1]

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:
But wherewith for sacred sign?

Love shall be our token,
Love shall be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and to all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign.

     In her poem, Love Came Down at Christmas, Christina personified LOVE as the babe born in a manger.

     No ordinary baby—this baby of whom angels sang—this baby whom shepherds and wisemen worshipped.

     This baby was the incarnation of God.

          Love coming down at Christmas took on human body and human nature.

               Love that came down at Christmas would travel through infancy, childhood, the teens, and young adulthood.

     Then, in only three short years of ministry, Love that came down would illustrate what God’s Love looks like.

     In his death and resurrection, Love who came down at Christmas built a bridge between God and humankind.

     You may be immersed in all the last-minute details of this lovely but hectic season. You may be asking, “How in the world can I get everything done? Or, as one overwhelmed young mom commented with a sigh, “I don’t even know if we’re going to have Christmas this year!”

     Won’t you, along with me, take a moment today out of the busyness to reflect on the amazing gift of the incarnation—LOVE that came down at Christmas?

God, bless us with a mere glimpse of the LOVE that came down at Christmas this final week of Advent.

Sue Reeve

 

  1. https://www.songandpraise.org

Above All Else Christmas Means LOVE!

     Winter Solstice came and went on December 21st. The day with the shortest period of sunlight in 2018 is now history. Slowly but surely, dark winter days will lengthen. It won’t be long until we’re watching for the first signs of Spring. Bulbs will begin poking their sweet little green heads up through still-snow-blanketed soil.

     Christmas 2018 is also now history. At our house, we’re already thinking about taking down the beautifully-decorated tree. It doesn’t look nearly as welcoming without brightly-wrapped gifts beneath. In a few days, Ron will disconnect the timer which has so faithfully turned on our cheery outdoor Christmas lights.

     Christmas Eve, our two youngest grandkids, 7-year-old Emmi and 3-year-old Reeve, lit the candle representing Jesus on the Advent Wreath. It joined the candles of HOPE, PEACE, JOY and LOVE.

     I now find myself asking, “Where the rubber of my faith meets the often mundane, cluttered and unkind road of life, how do I keep alive the Light of LOVE Christmas is all about?”

     The word “love” is used 202 times in the New Testament (KJV). John, the youngest of Jesus’ twelve original disciples, penned those words a whopping 71 times.

     John often described himself as the “one whom Jesus loved.” There wasn’t a doubt in John’s mind that he was beloved by Jesus, and he in turn loved Jesus deeply.

     So, how can I, how can you, love Jesus deeply?

     The Apostle John, writing words when in his elder years, provides that answer in a letter to his friends. John’s words remain relevant to you and me in the 21st Century.

 Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.  But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.

     1 John 4:7-11 (NLT)

     These are great words. If I’m honest, however, I’ll confess that way too often, I desire to be loved by Jesus more than I want to love like Jesus. This is an area of life where I want to grow.

     As we recover from the stress of the Christmas season caused by too much—perhaps too much spending, decorating, gathering with family and friends and eating rich foods—I hope you’ll join me to reflect on the gift of God’s LOVE, JESUS.

     What if each one reading these words asked this question of God prayerfully:

Since you loved me SO much, God, how can I love you by loving others more like JESUS loved?

     Somehow, I imagine that’s a question God will like and be pleased to answer.

In closing today’s post, quoting Tiny Tim from A Christmas Carol,

“…And God bless us everyone!”

Sue Reeve

It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you…
yes, it is Christmas every time you smile…and offer…your hand.
~ Mother Teresa