Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Love one another - John 15.12

New Testament Challenge – Day 37
John 15-21

With Christmas just a few days away most Christians are frantically going about looking for that last shopping deal or for that last minute gift for that last minute guest who decided at the last minute to come for Christmas. The last few days before Christmas are any BUT peaceful for so many these days so I thought I would offer a few words to remind us really why we’re going through all this trouble.

First allow me to say that banquets and gift-giving isn’t sinful this time of year. The truth is that everything we share our love with each other good things takes place. It’s no surprise that age-old feuds have been healed during Christmas supper for this very reason. We have learned, most of us, to put our disagreements aside for Christmas and enjoy our celebrations. That’s good.

But we also know that putting on a good face JUST for the sake of Christmas has its risks as well. When we don’t really forgive someone then we begin to associate Christmas with a holiday of burden rather than love. We get along with our enemies not because we want to, but because we HAVE to. And that’s not so good. Jesus said:

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.” John 15.9-13

God’s desire is for us to live in unity and love until He returns. Christmas is about His love expressed in His willingness to leave His Throne for 33 years and live as a mere mortal man. He did this NOT because the Law required a sacrifice but so that He could reconcile us to Himself. Without Christmas there would be no Pascha, and without Pascha there would be no Resurrection. Without the Resurrection there would be possibility for us to be reunited to God. Isn’t that worth forgiving someone, not just for a day, but for good?

This Christmas give the gift of love and forgive those who have offended and hurt you or your family. Call them up today and apologize for your part in the situation because we all know every disagreement has two parties. No excuses, just apologies. That would a be much better use of the next couple of days than frantically shopping for the last minute sale.

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