“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
Last night I was wrapping presents and making some candies to take to my parents’ home this weekend. I got caught up in wrapping and watching Lord of the Rings (how’s that for a Christmas movie?) and forgot about my baking… Nothing like the smell of burnt chocolate—those two words just shouldn’t go together, unless it’s on purpose for some kind of gourmet delicacy, which was not what I was trying to do. It was tragic. My labor of love was a flop. I’ll have to try again tonight.
“Labor of love” that’s an interesting thought, isn’t it? Should love be laborious? Isn’t it just a warm fuzzy feeling that we get when our emotions are just right? According to dictionary.com, “laborious” means “requiring much work, exertion, or perseverance.” The parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:29-37 was Jesus’ explanation of the meaning of the second greatest commandment to love your neighbor as yourself. Work, exertion and perseverance are exactly what the Good Samaritan illustrated. He didn’t just stop to tell the half-dead man that he hoped he felt better and that he would pray for him (James 2:15-16). He did something about it. He bound up the man’s wounds, took him to an Inn, took care of him and paid for his needs. Those weren’t easy things to do. Sometimes love is costly.
My little efforts at baking and wrapping for Christmas are a pitiful example of this kind of love. But God showed us the most beautiful example when he gave us his Only Son. I’m not just talking about the birth of Jesus because that is only the beginning of the story. The whole account of Christ’s life is a witness to the expression of LOVE. And “we love because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19) We know what love is because He has shown us. We are enabled to love others because He has loved us. We can love others without expecting anything in return (like the Good Samaritan) because we have all we need in the love of God for us in Christ. So this Christmas ponder again the beauty of the Gift you’ve been given and don’t grow weary of expressing your love by doing good to others.
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:9-10
Merry Christmas, everybody!!!