Last week, Janet ran into a friend and was lamenting the fact that she didn’t know what presents to buy for various people in the family. Janet’s friend responded, “Just give them love…” When Janet repeated the conversation to me, the answer seemed so simple. We worry about what we will buy each other for the holidays and, of course, that misses the whole point of Christmas. I can understand that people who have small children want to get them toys and things to open. And let’s be frank – even I like to open stuff on Christmas morning.
But in the midst of the advent season, it is important to remember that as many times as you have heard it, we should remember that giving love is the big idea. And it is noteworthy that loving someone is the most important thing that we can do here on earth once we have professed our faith in Jesus. Make no mistake – I love to shop for gifts and see how much family members enjoy the effort I have put into choosing special items for people. But even the best gifts pale in comparison to what it feels like to be loved by someone else.
One of the things about love, especially with family members, is that as much as we love them, we can also grow weary of the drama that enters most family relationships. In fact, it has been said that it would be great if we treated our families as well as we treat strangers. Sometimes, I fear that is true.
But most of the time, parents have a tough assignment. Kids can take their toll on even the most even-tempered adults. And let’s face it – even the best of us can get worn down by children who are relentless in their pursuit of whatever they have their minds set on. Who among us hasn’t had a bad day with our kids every once in a while – I know we have. And whether it is generational or not, there are times when we just don’t understand our children.
So I submit to you this evening that loving them well isn’t enough. We need to love them well – continuously. And our commitment to love, both in our families and to the community at large, must withstand the test of time. We can not grow weary – we must persevere. In light of the importance of this mission, our verse for the evening is from Galatians 6:9-10, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”
Paul’s letter to the church at Galatia was filled with practical knowledge on how to implement the theology of the Christian faith. It is often said that Romans is the intellectual part of the Christian life while Galatians is the practical implementation of the faith. That’s why it is so important to look at the passage from the perspective of action. So doing good is something that are are to keep doing, actively – as long as we live.
My encouragement this evening is that God wants us to love one another well. My prayer is that you will have the perseverance to go the distance and out of humility, treat others better than yourself. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…