Love gives. Christmas is about giving. The Christmas message is about the generous love of God. In a conversation with his nighttime visitor, Jesus speaks of his own birth in a lowly, smelly Bethlehem manger, “For God loved the world so much he gave his only son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).”
In this Advent season, I want to remind each of us to think deeply about how love gives. As we consider the kind of love God gives, it is my prayer that we will attempt to be generous in giving our love to others. This love may be represented in the gifts we have put around the Christmas tree but there are other ways of loving that should be part of the way we live every day.
I noticed almost two months ago that some stores were putting out Christmas items and decorations. Really? I guess I am a traditionalist, waiting ‘til after Thanksgiving to begin getting ready for Christmas. My point is one of caution that we don’t allow the meaning of Christmas to be lost in the rush of buying presents, parties, and the hectic pace of the world around us. Let’s not get distracted by the usual frenzy and commercialism that surrounds us and miss the fact that God sent Jesus to initiate the first Christmas and to tell us he loves us and wants us to love each other.
Let me make a few suggestions for each of us to consider in the days immediately before us as we await Christmas. Take a few minutes each day to be quiet and meditate on the idea of how love gives:
What does the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus tell you about how love gives?
How can you, as a recipient of God’s love, show love for others who need to be loved?
What are some practical things you will do to share Jesus’ love with someone else at Christmastime? (Call, text, or email to encourage someone. Provide food, clothing, etc. to someone in need. Listen to someone who is having a hard time, be there for them).
You have likely heard the saying, “There are two kinds of people in this world; givers and takers.” What kind of person do you want to be? Being a Christian person means we are to allow God to make us like the One who put his life on the line for us. We must daily recognize and be grateful for all God gives us. And, there are times and circumstances when we need to allow others to give to us. But, we are called by Jesus and empowered by his Spirit to demonstrate our love for him by our acts of love and generosity to others. Love gives.