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!)

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