Dear Uniting Northerners,
This Sunday we conclude our Series ‘Advent Conspiracy’ with the fourth and final foundational tenant, ‘Love All.’ Love all, - easier said than done! Where do we even begin? Here’s a novel idea how about we begin at the beginning:
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father (John 1).
We start where it all started, with the ‘Word’ with ‘God’ becoming flesh and moving in to live with us. We start by receiving and then living out; fleshing out, what we have received. So what have we received?
In a word, - God!
What is God?
In a word, - love!
7 Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love (1John 4).
This isn’t the ‘common all garden variety’ of love. This is the uncommon, unconditional, unauthorised, often unorganised, unconventional and very uncomfortable variety. I say uncomfortable because there’s nothing you can do to gain it, and there’s nothing you can do to get rid of it.
What does this love look like? In a word - Jesus!
9 God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent His only Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this, is love, not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and His love is perfected in us.
There’s an old adage: You can’t be what you can’t see. If people can’t see Jesus in the flesh, ‘Church / You’ they can’t be like Him. How’s that for an uncomfortable truth!
So, here’s the question - how are you planning to be less like you and more like Jesus this Christmas?
Grace and peace