“And now these three remain: faith, hope, love. But the greatest of these is love.”
I Corinthians 13:13
We are in the fourth week of Advent. This week we light the candle of Love. Love is many things to many people. And in all honestly, I believe we all define love in different ways. I also believe that all our definitions fall short of fully articulating what love actually is. To begin with, love is not a feeling. Love is an action. Love is something we do when we care deeply about another person. When we love someone we want to do what is best for that person. We want to help them become the best version of themselves. And for the record that doesn’t mean telling them what they are doing wrong. That is definitely not love!
For a better definition of what it means to show love we can turn to I Corinthians 13. In this passage Paul teaches: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
I wish I could say I loved that completely. But my human failings cause me to fall short. I do get angry. I do feel resentment when I feel I am doing more than my fair share. I am not always patient. I do however try to live up to the words Paul wrote so many centuries ago.
In this Christmas season, we can see a true picture of what love looks like when we look down at the manger and then look up at the cross. God sent God’s son into this world to bring light into the darkness, hope to the hopeless, and peace for all human kind. Why? Because God so loved the world…
In the days and weeks ahead, my prayer for everyone is that we can all try a little harder to love according to the way God loves us. That we find ways to act on the love we have for others by showing them. It has become too easy to say “I love you” but acting on love…well that is a little harder and far more meaningful.