This Christmas, I hope you remember that it's all about love.
We make it into a season of crazy, of lights and winter tires and carols on repeat, and always giving ... giving time, giving presents, giving food, giving prayers and encouragement, giving stress (!) ... and sometimes I think our good intentions create background noise so loud we miss the quiet truth.
Christmas is about giving, but the gifts we have to give should always be step two - step one is God's great gift to us, and we can't even begin to pass it along to others unless we take the time to receive it, first. This Christmas, it's not about what you have to offer, and all about the no-strings-attached love that has already been offered to you.
True love - the deep, healing kind - is never about us and always about Him. Love is never what we can do and always what has been done for us already. Love is never about not being enough, but simply accepting that his love is MORE than enough.
THIS IS LOVE: not that we loved God, but that He loved us.**
And don't we so often try to do it the other way around? We try to prove our worth by loving well, and giving much, and we end up tired and falling short, even at the best of times. Because we mix up the order ... we try to give without receiving first, because we're told it's better that way. But sometimes, receiving is sacred instead of selfish, and giving when your heart is empty is the wrong decision.
So I hope that this Christmas is a season of receiving for you ... that you would take the time to accept the gift of Christ's love as a personal one - for you! - before you begin to pass it along to those around you. Yes, it is blessed to give. But oh, how life-giving it is to receive.
Merry Christmas, everyone! I'll see you all in the New Year!
*Photo by Arun Kuchibhotla on Unsplash
**(1 John 4:10)