One of the reasons that Christmas means so much to us is that the season allows us to grapple with the fact that love is a powerful remedy for much, if not all that ails this world. We, as Christians, believe that is especially true when it comes to the redemptive, restorative and transformative love revealed to us in the birth of Jesus.
John Wesley, founder of Methodism, now called The United Methodist Church believed the following about the necessity of the witness of love by those of us who seek to follow Christ: “John recognized that Christian’s inability or unwillingness to live in communion with our sisters and brothers – due either to open conflict or a seemingly more benign brand-preference-was a breach of the law of love. As he put it, ‘The pretenses for separation may be innumerable, but want of love is always the real cause.’ (This is a reference to Wesley’s belief about schism in the church).
“This failure to love creates a grave problem for the church’s efforts at evangelism. It is a counter-witness to the Gospel that gives non-believers grounds for rejecting the faith. Our failure actually to love one another amidst the often-difficult vicissitudes of life belies all our sermons and exhortations about God loving us.” The Rev. Daniel Bell (Retired professor and Elder UMC)
The scripture teaches us that we should love on another as God loves us. Advent/Christmas is a great time to check out our capacity to love as we are loved by God in Christ.
– Doug Fairbanks
Published on Thursday, December 21, 2017 @ 12:08 PM EDT