By Carol Hagler
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, you must love one another.
Our culture often describes a favorable impression of some event, thing, or person as love. As in, “I love that gift you found!” “ Don’t you just love his sense of humor?”
My parents loved the Christmas season. Walking through their home during the holidays was walking in a Christmas delight with both familiar touches and new surprises each year. Mom and Dad loved spending time together creating the outward evidence of their inward love of Christmas and loved sharing the beautiful creations with friends and family. However, their enjoyment is more accurately described as liking the event, not loving it.
Perhaps, our casual use of the word love is part of the reason that we often have difficulty in understanding the scope, the depth, the import of the love that Jesus commands in John 13:34, let alone in practicing it. Make no mistake, this love is commanded, not suggested, by the Lord with “all authority in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18). It is the same love that He gives to us. It is unconditional, unselfish, and even though it may be unreciprocated or unappreciated, this servant love identifies us as followers of the King of Kings.
In a world that rushes through its days, especially this time of year, always searching for more: more things, more influence, more approval, more significance, Jesus has a simple solution. He tells us that this love is easily recognized and significant in a seeking world: “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35) More importantly, His life is the model of servant love, and He is the source of love in us.
What can you do this Advent season to show Christ’s love and demonstrate that Christ, the Lord of the universe, is the Lord of your time and your purpose, and is the source of love in your life?