December 22 Reflections

The holidays seem to bring a unique challenge to loving people well. If you spend a lot of time with family/extended relation a lot of old wounds can resurface resulting in tension and anxiety. When anxiety is present, we can react in ways that are not helpful in loving well. How can we love well in the Christmas season? I believe what is required is a deep experience of the love of God in our own lives. Literally when we fall in love with Jesus, it changes everything, including how we treat those closest to us in the Christmas season.

Julian of Norwhich lived in England during a time of great upheaval. She saw the beginning of the Hundred Year War between England and France. She lived through the Bubonic Plague, which killed a third of Europe’s population. She saw a church divided and in moral compromise. Julian chose to withdraw from society and live in a small room attached to a church in the heart of Norwhich. While in these painfully cramped quarters she received transcendent revelations from God. She wrote about this describing how God’s love and his divine will were at work in all things. “All will be well, and all will be well, and every kind of thing will be well.”

Loving people well in the name of Jesus, even those closest to us, is slow, hard work. At times, fruit emerges slowly. But the love of God which is eternal and life changing promises us that “all will be well.” This offers us the strength, perseverance and long-term outlook to stay the course in loving well.

What relationship or circumstance in your life do you most need to hear: “All will be well, and will be well, and every kind of thing will be well?” Remember you cannot fix people. You cannot change people. You do not control people. All you and I really have is to love well. That is our call in this Christmas Season as we remember how much God loved us by giving us his Son. We are going to think about this on Sunday as we focus on the crucified Jesus as Christmas. Some passages to reflect on: John 1:14; Matthew 1:18-23; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; 1 Peter1:18-19.

Grace upon Grace,

Pastor Verlyn