Pastor Lauren wraps up our Advent Christmas LIGHTS series talking about the light of Love. This light is central to the entire Christmas story. Love that arrived that first Christmas was one that changed the entire world. John 3:16-17 tells us, ” For God so LOVED the world that he gave his one and only son. That whoever believes in him will not parish but have everlasting life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
Christ’s love compels us to make a decision. Mark records an encounter with the rich young ruler and Jesus. “Jesus looked at him and LOVED him. ‘One thing you lack,’ he said. ‘Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then, come follow me.’ At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad because he had great wealth.” (Mark 10:21) This man had to make a decision. We don’t know what he ended up doing but a decision none the less was required. Either to walk away from Jesus or walk away from his wealth.
Christ’s love is the foundation for everything else. We cannot have the lights of hope, peace and joy without first love. 1st Corinthians 13:1-8, 13 says, “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
This is the true definition and fulfills what Jesus taught us. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35) Christ’s love fills us so we can love fully. 1 John 4:19, “We love because he first loved us.”
How will you let this light of love shine and fill you up this Christmas?
How Can We Be Praying For You?