The word love is thrown around a lot in our culture, each with a different meaning and or context. We say things like “I love that car, I love pizza, I love that movie, I love that dress, etc.” It’s understood that we don’t really “love” those objects like we love people. So what does love mean then?
Love can be boiled down to pure selflessness. There are so many facets of love that you could focus on but since Christmas is approaching let’s focus on one aspect of love, and that is giving.
In this holiday season, we buy gifts for our friends and family; we even buy gifts for some people because our spouses make us. All kidding aside, giving gifts is an outward expression of love. If you say you love someone you want to do things for them, you want to show them that you love them and this is one of the ways to do that. God gave us this example when he gave us Jesus.
I’d like to put this in perspective and provide an example that is more relatable. I have three children whom I love very dearly and would willingly lay down my life without a hesitation, as I’m sure those of you who have children can agree. When God gave us Jesus, he knew that Jesus would be mocked, tortured and killed, but he still did it because he loved us. That would be like me or one of you giving up one of your children knowing that they would die a cruel death. I cannot fathom that, can you? It’s one thing to give up your own life, but to give up your only son or daughter is another level of love.
It’s so easy during this season to forget about why we even have this season. The endless shopping sprees, the gift wrapping, the lists of gifts that we still need to buy can completely consume our thoughts. Sometimes Jesus is put on the back shelf and remembered as an afterthought just before we dive into our gifts on Christmas morning. We sometimes forget about the great sacrifice of love that God the Father gave when he sent Jesus to this planet to ultimately die for our sins and the sins of the world.
One of my favorite verses in the Bible is John 3:16, and I like to think about it like this: God proved his love for the world when he gave his only son Jesus (paraphrased). I want to challenge each one of us to take time this Christmas season to stop and really meditate on God’s love for us; for what good is a gift, if we never open it or understand what it is and how it is supposed to benefit our lives? Give gifts, open presents, drink eggnog and celebrate Christmas. But don’t forget the love that God showed us when he gave us the gift of Jesus.