LOVE SEEN, LOVE REPEATED
9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. John 15:9-11
A lot of things I learned, I did not learn from a book or from a teacher. A lot of the things I learned was from watching people and especially my parents throughout the years. I know that sounds crazy, but it was really not the words that my parents used, but the actions that they did that taught me about how to love. I mean my dad was in the military and there were many days that my mom unfortunately received the brunt of a bad day from my dad. And I have to say that same was reciprocated to us if my mom had a bad day through emotions and some harsh words. But regardless of the arguments and miscommunication, I remember always watching my dad really showing love to my mom in so many different ways and the same for my mom towards my dad. They were so in love that they just got each other. The knew what the other was thinking and knew EXACTLY what the other needed in their times of hurt and uncertainty. I will be honest, I did not grow up in a perfect household at all, but the life lessons I learned about love I was able to see through the actions of both my mom and dad to anyone that they met.
I say that because during this time of the year, my parents would always make sure that the needs of others were met. My dad would take care of the students that were a part of his JROTC program by making sure they got what they needed for Christmas and my mom would do the same with some of her students from school. I remember that my mom would continue to cook loads of food just so that she could send extras home to others that were in need. These are the pictures of love that I have seen and that were burned into my heart and into my mind on how we have the chance to change the world through actions of love. I say
all of that because I want us all to know that others are watching as well. We have people that are watching how we are reacting to the chaos of COVID and elections and I pray that they see that no matter what happens our love and faith in God continues to grow. I pray that my daughters are able to see the Love of God in me as I sometimes exhaust myself to connect with you and your families. I pray that you as students and parents, see the opportunities that God has given to us to see love and repeat what we have seen to others. There is just something about Christmas that allows us to really take the time to pause in the chaos and see the love of God that has been given to us and hopefully share the love with the ones in need.
I say all of that because of the words that we are able to read today. I know that for many of us Christmas comes with so much Joy and Love, but the reality is that this Christmas may be a little different. It may be filled with love and appreciation for the ones we have lost, the ones we have gained and the ability we have to thank God for one more day to make a difference. Once again Jesus is encouraging us to understand the power of love. He is able to use a personal example of how God, HIS FATHER, showed love to Him. I know that seems weird to us because we have probably never thought of God and Jesus having that time of connection, but in the mystery of all things, we see Jesus letting us into a little of HIS STORY and allowing us to see into the REAL NATURE OF GOD. Jesus is saying that He is repeating the same LOVE that has been shown to Him through HIS Father. Jesus has been able to experience the purest Love of all through the CREATOR of Love and now Jesus is wanting to teach us and show us how to reciprocate that ability to show love. We see that Jesus says that there are stipulations to what we are to do. It is not a point to where we cannot receive God's love, but a path or a journey to lead us to the ultimate kind of LOVE. One that is filled with JOY and COMPLETENESS. The commands are not things that we are given that we cannot accomplish, it is the call of God in our lives to give to others what we have received through God. We have been given this amazing gift of love that we witnessed through the sacrifice of God through Christ, and because of that great love, we too are called to return that same sacrificial love to the world.
True Love and Joy go hand in hand. If you are finally able to see TRUE LOVE, you will finally know what to look for as we search for ways to share true love to the world. I know that it may not be easy, but I am praying that we take time and make room for LOVE to infiltrate our whole lives. It is not something that is easy... it is not something that we fully understand through words, but in action, LOVE speaks volumes in ways that will change the world. I am so thankful for ALL of the people who have been able to show me TRUE LOVE in so many different ways. I thank you for being a model of mentoring me throughout my ministry and I pray that I have done all that I can to pass on that legacy of love. Not just in words, but in
actions and truth. It is time that we allow others to see LOVE in order that God's Love may be multiplied throughout the world. NOW is the time. We have been called to help the world to see the fullness of Love and Joy. As LOVE came down in the form of a child, I am blessed to think about the lessons that Jesus was able to really show through His action of UNDYING LOVE through the people whose lives He invested into. I pray that I have been able to challenge all of us to do the same. As we have seen others, like the Father to show us love, may we too turn to those around us and show them the same love. It took me a long time to really grasp that concept, but now that my life is built on that love, the JOY that I have been able to experience through showing others love is so indescribable. Take hold, the time is now for God's Love to once again be shown throughout the world.