Did you know that loving others includes loving everyone, not just our friends?
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy’ But I say to you, ‘Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…”
On this Christmas Eve, let me remind you of the most amazing thing in the whole world. God sent His Son to earth for you and now asks you to go to the ends of the earth for Him. He invites us into His great story of grace and redemption. Just how far does the love of God reach? I think the answer to that depends on how far we will let it reach.
There are two groups of people in the world. There are those who are your friends and there are those who are your enemies. Jesus tells us that we are to love our friends and neighbours, and He also tells us that we are to love our enemies. Who is excluded from either of those categories? I think that every human being who has ever lived is included in one of these two groups of people, and we are called to love them.
Today, on the eve of celebrating the birth of Christ, is there anyone whom you are refusing to love? Perhaps you are refusing to love a family member, a colleague, or a neighbour? Is there a person, or a group, whom you find it very hard to love? Maybe you feel unable to love people who are from a different culture, or religion? Or maybe you think you cannot love people whose sexual orientation you disagree with? Remember that to love someone does not mean that you agree with him or her. Acceptance does not equate to agreement.
As Advent gives way to Christmas, how can you love others? How can you become a living witness to the most remarkable message the world has ever known, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself? How can your life become one of hope, peace, joy and love?
(C) Malcom J. Duncan