Love | Advent Journey

God showed his love for us when he sent his only Son into the world to give us life. (1 John 4:9 CEV)

Tellings of the Christmas story normally highlight salvation. “To you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord.” (Luke 2:11a NSRV) We celebrate the birth of Jesus as the birth of the Saviour. But how often do we think of Christmas as a celebration of God’s love?

1 John 4:9 tells us that God’s gift of Jesus was an expression of God’s love for us. And two verses later, John takes this insight and makes it practical: “since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 4:11 NIV)

This echoes what Jesus said when he was asked what the most important commandment was. “Jesus answered: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. This is the first and most important commandment. The second most important commandment is like this one. And it is, ‘Love others as much as you love yourself.’” (Matthew 22:37-39 CEV)

During this pandemic, many of us have been reflecting on the way things were before and concluding that we don’t just want to go “back to normal.” We want to build a new normal, a more just and compassionate society, a society that does a better job of taking care of the vulnerable than we did before, a society where underprivileged people really do have opportunities to succeed. Achieving this would be an expression of love for our neighbours.

At Christmas, we celebrate God’s gift to us by giving gifts to those we care about. May this spirit of generosity continue beyond the season as we have opportunities to show God’s love to those around us.

– Dr. Jeff Green,
Senior Manager, Scripture Translation

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