Monday, December 14, 2020
All of my childhood Christmas memories carried a similar theme: I was loved. I was loved by parents. I was loved by siblings. I was loved by grandparents. I was loved by friends. But most significantly, I was loved by God, who sent Jesus to earth as one of us so that we might be saved from my sin and become an eternal participant in God’s love.
Many times the expression of love becomes “thing” or “action” focused. But true love is the giving of oneself to others on their behalf and for their good.
I found this modern-day paraphrase of First Corinthians 13 which I think expresses the struggle we have to keep focused on what love really is.
Modern Day 1 Corinthians 13
If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love, I’m just another decorator. If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love, I’m just another cook. If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love, it profits me nothing. If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir’s cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.
Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.
Love doesn’t envy another’s home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way.
Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.
Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust, but giving the gift of love will endure.