9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
I have seen a Facebook post stating, “I’m staying home today, it’s too peopley out there!” As human beings we can be challenging to love and to love one another! This time of year with the hustle and bustle of Christmas preparations it gets really peopley! We tend to get focused on tasks we need to accomplish rather than truly preparing for the coming of Christ. People are competing for sale items, parking spaces, or just getting too tired and crabby.
The beauty of Jesus’ command is that the love is already there. We just need to choose it. When we start to get an inkling of the incomprehensible love of God for us it changes everything. Jesus loved us enough to die for us. Do we have to give up our physical lives to fulfill his command? Some of us are called to do that. Thousands of soldiers, first responders, and everyday heroes have lost their lives in service to others.
For some of us it means we die to our own self-will. We seek God’s will for our lives as Jesus did. We listen for His voice and guidance every day in all matters, big and small and that’s where the miracles start and the joy begins. We see opportunities to help, to serve, to forgive, and show compassion. We don’t puff up our egos to think what a good person I must be, but humbly receive and pass on the love that Jesus gives to us that was given to Him by the Father. Acknowledging nothing originates with us.
Can we ever do this perfectly? Not in this lifetime, but the more we allow Him to lead us the less burdensome the task and the more joyful the earthly journey. Frustration with others and with ourselves melts away to compassion. Despair transforms into hope. Complete joy is knowing we live our lives with purpose, that we have done our best to serve our Heavenly Father. It is a quiet confidence of knowing we are loved and held securely by the creator of the universe and will remain with him for all eternity. It is the peace of a newborn on a star lit night in a manger in Bethlehem.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your unfathomable love. Help us to receive it, be transformed by it, and share it with all we meet. In Jesus Holy Name, Amen