Read Galatians 5:14.
Love. God sent his son to be incarnated love. Incarnate means made into flesh, made plain, made visible, factual, real. It’s a theological word, and it’s never used in the Bible. The fact of the incarnation is God’s love made flesh in Jesus. The method of incarnation was the immaculate conception in the virgin Mary. God freely gave; we are free to receive. Jesus is God’s love to us incarnated and we are Jesus’ love incarnated to those around us.
God made himself visible in Jesus. Jesus makes himself visible in us. The world will know we are Christians, not by how we look, but by the demonstration of his love. Living it. Love is being committed to our spouse, an aging parent, a challenging child. Love is calling a depressed friend every morning to encourage them to get up and go to work. It is listening to and walking with the grieving as long as it takes. Love is understanding with Kingdom values and seeing with God’s eyes. Love is moving at the Holy Spirit’s leading. Love is thinking of others first and loving them as you would yourself.
As we begin the new year let’s embrace the profound gift we have been given: God’s love, made real, made flesh. This gift can change everything around us; it can change us. We are free to make the choice to let his love change us. You can live in the fullness of Christ, his love made visible, this January. You are Jesus’ love made real to the world if you choose to live it.
REFLECT AND RESPOND
Look back over your advent journal for places you have highlighted. Do you notice a theme or direction? Has Jesus’ love filled you in new ways this Advent? Perhaps a new perspective, a new leading by the Holy Spirit, a conviction to act? You have been filled up with Christ and given freedom to love.
By Donna Burns