From god, with love
The lights are turned down low, the wrapping paper is all stuffed in a trash bag, the guests have all gone and the left overs are put away. A peaceful quietness fills the house. What a day! What a good day! Not because of the amount or cost of the gifts that were given and are now piled up on the floor or countertops. It was a good day because of the love shared by family. Of course a homemade turkey dinner complete with all the trimmings and deserts afterward always helps in making the day a special one. However, the main attraction is still the love shared by family and friends. People laughing, talking, sharing and enjoying, giving and receiving each others company, in love. This is the gift to be most treasured. Giving gifts without love as the motivation, misses the point of the giving. I loosely quote from Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church. “If I use my gift to speak different languages, without love for you, then I am simply a loud annoying noise. If I teach from my gift of prophecy and knowledge without love, I am nothing. If I sacrifice everything, even my body, without love, there is no benefit to anyone.” Isaiah helped prepare the world to receive the greatest gift of love as he prophesied the incarnation of God, in the person Jesus. In Him we have been give the gift of cleansing. Only through the blood of Christ can we be made “whiter than snow”. In Him we have been given the gift of His kingdom, a place we call home, also known as the “mountain of the Lord”, His church. In Him we also have a king, a ruler, a shepherd, one who is greater than all others in power, counsel and charity. He is supreme and He is eternal. Because of this, He has also given us ultimate victory over all rulers, authorities and powers. Nothing can separate us from His love. Though the world be covered in darkness, the faithful disciple of the Christ will bathe in the Glory of the Lord. “Nations will come to (His) light.” He has come to proclaim “good news to the afflicted...and freedom to the captives”. I urge you church, receive Him, over and over. Hold this most cherished gift close to your heart, the gift from God, given in Love.