Being homeless is hard, but even more so for a single parent. In the U.S.,…
At Christmastime, we celebrate the greatest gift we’ve ever received! We celebrate the miraculous birth of a Son born to save.
At the heart of the Christmas story, we find Jesus, leaving behind the blissful, eternal joy of heaven to enter into the suffering of our world. God took on the flesh of a man in order to save mankind. Even though He Himself never sinned, He endured the ramifications of sin in order to cancel the sins that stood against us. Jesus, in essence, went dumpster diving for us. He picked us out of the trash heap, dead in our sins and without worth. He valued us enough to dirty Himself by taking on our sins, coming after us to redeem us and give us eternal worth as His own.
The Bible uses a specific Greek word to describe this love — agape. Agape love is a sacrificial kind of love whose goal is the betterment of others, even at the expense of one’s self. Agape love stands out in sharp contrast to the self-serving love we know in this world.
This kind of love was on full display as the King of Kings entered our dark world as a powerless baby born in a stable. We see it echoed in the traditional giving of gifts and a sense of charity during the Christmas season. But what if we took it a step further this year? What if we celebrate Christmas by exemplifying this love for others that motivated Jesus’ mission 2,000 years ago?
John 13:34-35 says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Jesus loved us humbly by putting our needs above His own. He loved us compassionately by leaving the comforts of heaven to find us and restore us. He loved us unconditionally, knowing our fears, faults and failings, and still, He laid down His life to be with us.
This Christmas, let us all commit to loving others, no matter what it takes, to showing the kind of love that inspired that first Christmas. How much better the world would be if we gave gifts of understanding, compassion, love, friendship and kindness. Christmas doesn’t come wrapped in paper and bows; it came wrapped in swaddling clothes.
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