When Love Came Down

As we have traveled through the season of Advent, my pastor has taught a series on the attributes of God, which He imparts to us, as a gift through the sending of His Son.  The four weeks have covered, peace, hope, joy, and finally yesterday, love.

Jesus, is God’s gift of love to us, as He sent us His one and only Son.  (1 John 4:9-10)  The love of God is so great, that it covers us with the commitment of His very life.  His love is agape – love that genuinely and exclusively seeks the good of others, rather than one that might expect something in return.  Christ’s love was so vast, that He set aside the robes of majesty, and took on the role of a man, so that we might know love. (paraphrasing Pastor Jon McIntosh)

In John 13:1-12, Jesus shows the full extent of His love for the disciples, as He takes on the role of the lowliest of servants, and kneels to wash the filth from the feet of His friends.  The washing of another’s feet, would have made the one who was washing, completely unclean.  Feet were filthy, and to touch them, would have been a wretched violation of plenty of purity laws.  Jesus was modeling to the men that it matters not what it takes, when we love, we must be willing to set aside ourselves, and serve.  His serving, left the disciples cleansed and refreshed, despite personal cost.

Philippians 2:5-8  encourages us to have the attitude of a servant, just as was seen through Christ.  The love described in Philippians, is humble and obedient to God, willing to love with His very life.  Such love is unshakeable, and will remain forever.  (See also: Isaiah 54:10, Romans 8:38-39)

And Love came down,When Love Came Down

so the world might know;

the height and depth,

of love truly shown.

Love seeks not self,

records not the wrongs;

is patient, kind,

fills hearts with sweet songs.

Where there is Love,

peace too, shall be found;

for where Christ dwells,

all goodness abounds.

Love seeks to serve,

do unto others;

cares for each one,

as sisters, brothers.

Love will endure,

forever, always;

none can remove,

the Ancient of Days.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the glorious gift of Your Son, Jesus, whom You sent to us so that we might know Love.  Thank You that we set aside this season to remember the blessed birth, the arrival of God with us.  Forgive us for allowing anything to distract or taint the significance of this season, and help us to hold fast to that which truly matters.  May we learn to love as You loved, and be Your hands and heart to those who are hurting this Christmas.  May many come to know the limitlessness of Your everlasting love this season.  May our every attitude and action be as You would have us do, and may our every offering be pleasing unto You.  We love You, Lord.  Amen.

*Scripture references taken from yesterdays sermon at http://www.gcfw.org

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

The Look of Love

“This is my command: Love each other.” – John 15:17

Jesus did not mince words with His disciples.  He kept it simple and straightforward – Love each other.  If we do, then we inadvertently will abide by the commandments as well.

image by Kimberly B

image by Kimberly B

Yesterday afternoon, I decided to brave the crowds, and went out to try to finish up some of the last of my shopping.  Typically, this time of year is a total zoo, and people tend to neglect manners and niceties in their attempt to acquire more stuff.  However, yesterday was different.  When my first stop took me into the grocery store for one quick item, I picked a line where I was third.  Third in line a few days before Christmas on a Saturday, was super.  To my astonishment, the lady in the front of the line with a full cart, signaled the gal in front of me to go before her, as she only had a handful of items.  As I was grinning to myself at her act of kindness, her love for another, she then looked at me, smiled, and said, “go ahead, I am not in a hurry.”  I smiled, asked a quick, “are you sure?”, thanked her, wished her a very Merry Christmas through my ear-to-ear grin, and was able to exit much more quickly than anticipated.

At the mall, I witnessed similar sentiment, as shoppers seemed to slow down and smile more, perhaps taking time to appreciate the ability to even be out at all.

Though the 26 Acts of Kindness may or may not be intentionally answering Jesus’ command to love one another, it most certainly and wonderfully does just that.  Despite the devastation and heartache, people are choosing to love.  Love, brings healing.  What an awesome God we serve, who has begun to build beauty out of ashes already, as we prepare to celebrate His blessed birth.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You did not just say, “Love one another,” but You sent Your Son, Jesus, to show us what love looks like.  Thank You for loving us so that we might know love and pass it on.  Forgive us for not always preferring one another, and lead us to consider others, so that we might love like You.  Lead us Lord, to love selflessly, so that many may see You, by and through our love.  Amen.

For a great read on the 26 Random Acts of Kindness, click here: http://thislittlelight516.wordpress.com/2012/12/21/the-fruit-tree/

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

O Holy Night

“I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps My word, he will never see death.” – John 8:51

Jesus spoke the above mentioned words to the people in the temple so that they might know the truth.  Keeping His word means not just hearing or knowing it, but being obedient to what He asks.  Following Him is the first step of faith necessary to overcome spiritual death.  He promises that all who believe, will receive eternal life with Him.  With our celebration of His blessed birth, but a few days away, the following is what found way onto the page as my personal reflection to what I read in John this morning.

O Holy night,

when sin and fear took flight.

image by Rick Larson

image by Rick Larson

The Savior born to us,

to cover our wrongs with right.

Sinless did He live

His life, the everlasting light.

Heaven came to earth,

upon that sacred night.

Death upon the cross,

faced every shame and sinful plight.

Empty tomb displayed,

the wonder of heaven’s might.

Heavenly ascent,

returning to the Father’s right.

Spirit sent to us,

as our loving, guiding Light.

Glory to our God,

for that blessed, holy night!

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You made a way – by leaving heaven for earth, giving up perfection and peace for chaos and discomfort, for each and every one of us, individually – to come to know You and spend eternity in Your presence.  Thank You that though we do not deserve it, You give.  Forgive us for not readily receiving Your word and putting it into practice.  Teach us to trust Your truth and to allow Your Spirit to change us from the inside out.  May our lives bear evidence of Your light living in us so that many may come to know You.  Lead us to love well and to be ever grateful for the grace that has guided us unto You.  Thank You Father, for that Holy night that made coming close to You, possible.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present