Love Came Down at Christmas

Did you see the star? The Bethlehem Star? The Great Conjunction! It was so beautiful, wasn’t it? In truth, there’s no real way to know whether it was the actual ‘star’ the Magi followed in the Nativity Story, but scientists believe that a similar occurrence is likely to have been present at the time. A Great Conjunction in the heavens to herald the prophecy of the Messiah. A sign of an event foretold when Love Came Down at Christmas.

Love. A four-letter word.

If you were to ask people what the word meant, you’d probably get varied and opposing answers. Movies, books, TV, music, theatre…they’ve all had their say on the subject for centuries. And yet, are we really any closer to truly knowing what real love actually is? It seems to me that for all the saturation of ‘love’ we see in today’s media, the portrayal is weak, superficial, selfish…insincere.

So what is Love?

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends.

1 Corinthians 13 ESV

Ever heard these words before? They’re probably some of the most well known verses found in the Bible, and get used in so many weddings. That’s probably where you’ve heard them. Two of it’s most famous outings were in President Barack Obama’s inaugural speech and by HRH Prince Charles at the funeral of Princess Diana.

Wherever you’ve heard them, love has never been, nor will ever be defined better. And yet, it leaves us with an enormous challenge. It’s easy enough to hear or read these words and think, oh yes! That’s love! Harder is the knowledge that in order to be love to others, we need to be all these things!

Is that even possible? I hear you say! I’m not sure it is, after all, we’re only human; flawed and imperfect. But does that then mean we shouldn’t try? I hope your answer is no. After all, it is our choices that define who we are, and if we don’t choose to love, then what hope do we have?

Begin with Love this Christmas

Just like the Star of Bethlehem was a beacon of hope to the Magi who followed it to Jesus, let our Great Conjunction of 2020 be a sign of hope and new opportunity. The Star the Magi followed hailed a new dawn for many, a promise fulfilled to a nation. Why not start afresh this Christmas, the season of love and goodwill, and love one another more perfectly than ever before. Pick an attribute of Love and start there. Be more patient, kinder, less selfish, or arrogant towards those you love. Challenge yourself to emulate the true characteristics of love, one by one, and you’ll truly see love in your life more purely than ever before. I’m sure of it! Start now! Begin with Love this Christmas, and keep it going through the year!

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