Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Celebrate Love

In a few days many of us will be celebrating Christmas. This holiday holds different meanings for people all over the world. However, for all it is a time to celebrate love. To slow down from our sprint through life and see the faces of those around us instead of an indistinct blur.

What do we see? People we love, friends, beauty. We hear laughter and music. We smell fresh baked sugar cookies, and a crown roast in the oven. We also notice those who are lonely, in need, and hungry. And somehow we find extra money and provisions to share.

Oh, that we would live everyday like this.

Another curiosity about the holidays is the exhibition of "extreme emotion." Like the people in cars that blow their horns because they had to wait an extra thirty seconds for someone in front of them to turn. Emotions seem to be "extra charged" during this season.
For instance, I accompanied a friend to her speaking engagement. Before her turn to speak, two vocalists sang Michael W. Smith’s “Welcome to Our World.” There is a line in that song asking Jesus to bring His peace into our violence.

That struck me. Jesus was willing to bring His peace into our violence knowing that very violence would brutely take His life. During the three years of His ministry, people misconstrued His words, misunderstood His motives, mocked him, and hated him. It was unfair. But that never changed His love for them. For us.

Little did I know that when I returned home I would open up a violent email accusing me of all kinds of things I did not do. My words were misconstrued, my motives misunderstood, the writer mocked me, and hates me. It s unfair.

Will I love this person like Christ loves this person?

But remember what love really is . . . a decision. It isn’t a feel good emotion. In fact, bad feeling emotions are the root of this whole ordeal. Emotions are poor thermometers to a person’s soul. They can be easily manipulated. Health problems, insecurities, frustrations and who knows what else is happening in this poor person's life that would cause such an extreme outlash.

Choosing to love is an act of the will. And because Christ chose to lay down His life for me and demonstrated real love, I am able to choose to love apart from my emotions.

If you have someone in your circle that is causing pain, remember Christ and His love for you. Go to Him and pray for your tormentor. Ask Him to bring peace in that person’s life and to bathe that person with love.

Celebrate love.