Thursday, December 6, 2012

Where's the Love?

This is my second Advent post of 2012, for this coming Sunday of Love.

Jesus Christ is all about the love, and he calls his disciples and followers to be all about the love, too. At the Last Supper, he announced a new commandment: "Love one another as I have loved you." That's a pretty high bar, seeing as Jesus loves perfectly and unconditionally, with mercy, grace, and forgiveness.

Sometimes, though, we Christians forget to love.

In fairness, all people of all faiths or no faith at all can forget to love, but I think it's particularly hypocritical of us Christians to lose sight of love and to speak or act in hate, contempt, judgment, self-righteousness. The Bible tells us over and over and over and over and over to love God and love our neighbor, love the little children, love the homeless, love sinners, tax collectors, thieves, oppressors, the unlovable.

Love is hard, so we cheat to make it easier. We save our love only for those who are like us, who deserve it, who earn it, who make us happy, who are cute or rich or entertaining. Everyone else we exclude from the circle of our love. It's just too hard, takes too much effort.

"Love one another as I have loved you."

Love one another as God loves you, as God loves all of us, with mercy, grace, and forgiveness.

Because we have different names for God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, it's sometimes easy to forget that they are one and the same, three aspects of one Being. The Son is God made flesh, to dwell among us, Emmanuel, a self-limiting of the infinite Divine.

God's incarnation means that He truly understands our suffering, understands what sacrifice is, what humility is, what it means to be born, grow, live, love, and die.

He did it.


Why under heaven would an infinite God limit Himself to a tiny baby, born at tax time, in a stable?

To show us where the love is.

Where's the love?

Pretty much everywhere.  God is love. He's not a miser, nor does He want us to hold back, hoard, or be miserly with Him. And that means we are not alone...not ever alone. God is with us every time we love someone, whether they love us back or not. God is there in every smile, every handshake, every hug, every wave. He's there in every donation to charity, every healing act, every seemingly random kind deed, every gift given.

But He is also there in the dark stables of our lives, the cold corners where we feel unloved and unlovable, when there isn't space for us in the inn. The shepherds--the lowest of the low--knelt down and felt that love beside the manger. And they rejoiced, went forth, and shared it with others.

Love God and love your neighbor.

"Love one another as I have loved you."

Let's do it.



  1. Well said. For a world that is craving love and looking in all the wrong places, what a gift we can give them :)

  2. Truth. And I love it. Yes, sometimes it is hard....hard to love the unlovely. But we must--because while we were yet 'unlovely', i.e. sinners, Christ died for us securing our salvation, which is free to all who will receive it, thereby giving the greatest gift of all. I am always humbled when I remind myself that God loves me, warts and all....knows me best but loves me most....Merry Christmas!!


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