Thursday, December 24, 2015

LOVE - A Christmas Eve Advent Service Reading

I shared this tonight as a part of our Christmas Eve Services at NMC...

Love… It’s one of the most powerful forces this world has ever seen.  In fact, in 1 Corinthians 13:8 Paul makes the bold statement that “Love conquers all.”

Really? In a giant grudge match against every virtue and vice this world has to offer, LOVE walks away with the Championship belt? According to scripture… YES.

But, what exactly is love?
We use the word a lot… maybe too much and to the point that the love that Paul is talking about gets lost in our culture. I mean, in one breath I can say, “I love my wife and children.” and yet in another breath I would say, “I love donuts?”

One exercise I’ll often do with students is ask them to choose which statement (and they can only choose one) is most accurate.
Statement 1: Love is a feeling.
Statement 2: Love is a choice.
Statement 3: Love is an action.

More times than not, the most popular choice is statement 1: Love is a feeling. It makes sense, right? I mean, an emotionally driven, hormonally hopped up teenager who lives in a culture that has made billions of dollars on the concept of “love at first sight” has to go with love as a feeling.

Yet, any of us who have gotten married need only about 30 days (or maybe even 30 hours) to know that love has to run deeper than a feeling for it to last and reach its full potential.

So which is the more accurate statement?
Is it Statement 2: Love is a choice?
Or Statement 3: Love is an action?

Honestly, it’s a trick question. I don’t think we can fully understand love until we put all three together.

 42 days ago, I was standing in a hospital in another state, holding my newborn son for the first time. It had been a whirlwind 24 hours… actually; it had been a whirlwind 5 months leading to the point where we were going to adopt this little guy. In that moment, I knew this to be true…

A deep FEELING we couldn’t shake had driven Janelle and me to this point.
We were making the CHOICE to adopt.
We took ACTION by going to great lengths to unite with and bring him home.
It was all driven in LOVE.
I think that’s a great love story.

BUT, I think the Advent Story… the story of the coming of Christ, is an even greater love story marked by a FEELING, a CHOICE, and an ACTION.

Our creator,
FEELING great love for His creation,
Made the loving CHOICE to take on human form,
Then, in love, he took ACTION for you and I by carrying our sin on the cross.

That’s the kind of love story that does more than make billions of dollars. 
It’s actually the kind of love story that conquers ALL.

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