Advent Week 4: LOVE
As a child, if you attended Sunday school, CCD, kids church, VBS etc, at some part of the lesson, the leader would ask questions and all the little hands would shoot into to the air hoping to be picked. Every church kid knew they could confidently shout-out JESUS and the probability of being correct was high. Even if it wasn’t the answer they were looking for, no one could say it was the wrong answer.
Instead they gently steered you to the point of the lesson, which did always lead back to Jesus. Yes, I’ll take the candy bar or book mark prize now.
Today life is complicated and confusing. It is even hard to stand up for what we know to be true. We are told truth is no longer truth. We are told people have their “own truth” and they should “speak their truth”.
•in accordance with fact or reality.
“a true story”
•accurate or exact.
Our culture is shifting and facts and reality are debated every day. There is a war on truth.
Christ followers, your faith is under attack BUT we MUST do better.
When Jesus walked the earth, his way was under attack then as well. He did not follow all of the church laws. Jesus was under attack for “working” in a Sunday because he performed a miracle healing of a man. He didn’t hang with the church crowd, instead with the sick, poor, tax collectors, the sinners. He was not interested in being seen with important people instead, he was interested in helping the lost, the hurting, the broken, the broken-hearted. Jesus called out for us to bring him our burdens in exchange for rest. He taught we should love one another.
Jesus spoke truth but he lead with love.
How do we do better?
We lead with love.
As a girl I was taught, “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” I would tweak this for today, “if you can’t lead with love, keep your words until you can.” (This goes for words coming from a keyboard or screen as well.)
Lead with love. Love is a BIG thing. So big, in our dating years it is even called the “L-word”. (I remember my mom asking me if I was in love once and I quickly admitted that I was definitely in LIKE and not the L word.) Back to love. Love is BIG.
I think we need a reminder what love IS…
patient and kind
Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.
It does not demand its own way.
It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.
It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.
Love never gives up,
never loses faith,
is always hopeful,
and endures through every circumstance.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT
Love is no easy road. Love is
not oogly eyes and butterflies. Love is not just a feeling. Love is a choice. We choose love.
No matter where you are in your journey, you need more love. We never “arrive” when it comes to love. There is no graduation nor award. You keep going and strive to be better every day.
Think back to that classroom and this time I am going to give you the answer to todays’ problems. You are going to shout the answer. Okay? For reals, I do want you to at least say the answer out loud.
The answer is LOVE. Ready?
My neighbor is a jerk, what do I do?
What if I don’t agree with my child/sister/friend/co-workers’ lifestyle choices?
My coworker is rude? LOVE
My friend lost a loved one, what do I do? LOVE
I detest my friends political party? LOVE THEM ANYWAY
Great job! Y’all earned a bookmark today.
Why is this love thing so important?
Because it is EVERYTHING. If you don’t get this, nothing else matters. We must fight for love, every day.
People close to us and far from us matter. People who look like us and don’t look like us matter. People who believe what I believe and don’t believe what I believe matter.
All the colors, all the thicknesses, all the personalities, all the jobs, all the countries, every side of the tracks. We all matter. We all deserve love. Start with your family and then your neighbors and keep extending your own borders. (Borders are different than boundaries & that is a different convo. Don’t excuse toxicity with this message- talk to a trusted friend please)
LOVE -THIS IS the message of Jesus. LOVE. LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.
Friend, YOU are loved by the God of this universe. He created you for a reason and his plan for you is good. Seek Him out. Learn to love. He loved you so much, God sent his son, Jesus to be born in an unwelcome time and place to walk this earth to teach love and ultimately pay price in his excruciating death for our brokenness.
The reason for the manager is the cross. Go love well, friends.
“Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.”
1 John 4:7-12 NLT