As Advent begins there are choices to make – especially this year, as restrictions ease and we can celebrate the season in person again with our family, friends and church. How we choose to spend our time, our money, what we pray for and who we invite to join in with the festivities all gives us an opportunity to share Jesus’ love with others.
We have a certain amount of control over who we share our homes and our friendship circles with. There are people we love because it’s easy – it’s comfortable. But Jesus was very clear. We need to love our neighbours too – and not just the ones who bring round cake now and then, or who offered to do our groceries during the pandemic. All of them. Whoever they are. More than that, but we are to love them as we love ourselves.
And by neighbours, Jesus wasn’t only referring to the group of people who physically live near us either. Through the story of the Good Samaritan, he explains that our neighbour is… everyone in need (Luke 10:25-37).
Our neighbourhood, then, becomes a global community.
The ultimate expression of love
God the Son took on flesh and was born into a neighbourhood of humanity. Through his birth on Earth, he placed himself into our physical neighbourhood to demonstrate to us the way we are to love.
He chose us humans. Preferred us over his comfort. Moved into our neighbourhood of flesh with grace and love for us to receive and to emulate. Jesus’ birth began his journey to the ultimate expression of love for us – his death and resurrection.
As we approach Christmas, let us pray that we, as the church and as humanity, will be reminded and inspired, more than ever, to live out the radical message of Christmas. That we will see and celebrate and lift each other up – preferring one another to ourselves.
Pray with us
Thank you for your son, Jesus. Help us to love our neighbours well. May we live in a world of restored relationships, where all people are able to fulfil the potential you have placed inside them. And let this season of Advent be a time where we can draw even closer to you.