A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
John 13:34-35 ESV
“Truly he taught us to love one another, his law is love and his gospel is peace.” Such beautiful words to the closing verse of one of my favorite songs to sing and listen to around Christmas. This verse reminds us of a powerful commandment that Jesus gave us in John 13:34 “love one another, as I have loved you.” Before we can love others, though, we must first know how God has loved us. Without that understanding we are unable to fulfill this command. So how has God loved us? Through sending a baby, his son, into the world to save us. Christ’s birth is a time for celebration because without Christ we were born into condemnation but through him we are saved!
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17 NIV
Yes, Christmas is a time for celebration of our Father’s love for us but we cannot stop there. Through the commandment in John 13:34, we cannot keep that love and freedom just within the walls of the church. It is our time to go out and love well. His gospel is the peace that our homes, schools, and communities need. As the hands and feet of the church it is up to us to show the love and peace of Christ.
His love and peace are open to all who receive and it is ours to share with those around us!