Today is January 17, 2017. Somehow, we are 17 days into the New Year and I’m wondering how that happened? Time flies.
The Christmas tree is down, but I haven’t taken down the greenery on the front porch and a pretty winter swag with greenery, bells and a cardinal adorns the front door. The boxes of decorations are on the stairway awaiting transport to the basement.
Christmas is past, but I’m still feeling it.
Which is as it should be.
After all, it never has been about the tinsel and lights, the presents or even about family gathered in close to celebrate as much as I love all those things.
That truly is the reason for the season of peace and goodwill that comes each December and all the “trappings” of Christmas are so small in comparison to the incomparable gift we’ve been given in the person of Jesus.
The Great I AM sent His only Son to save us and that is what we celebrate. For Christmas means nothing if you don’t also remember the Cross.
And along with the cross, Jesus said we must die to ourselves. And I’m learning that this year.
My last blog post had to do with my “word” for 2017–LOVE. For God so LOVED the world that He gave….
Such a simple word that we use for everything (Oh, I LOVE your dress! And I LOVE ice cream! And on and on…)
LOVE is at the core of my faith and was core to the life of Jesus and He said it was the greatest commandment–to LOVE God and LOVE people and just so you know, I’m failing miserably!
I said on January 2nd that I wanted to LOVE like Jesus and if the last 17 days have taught me anything, it is that I have far to go.
I think unkind things. I am grateful I don’t have those thought bubbles above my head that others can read! But He can.
I am selfish. I want to appear to the world as if I’m all loving and giving, but the God who knows my thoughts also knows my selfish heart.
Sometimes, I just plain want to be grumpy and less than loving. I see people out there saying ugly stuff and doing mean things and my first thought is that they don’t “deserve” love!
Neither do I.
And yet He does.
And calls me in that still small voice to love others.
The Scripture that says if I don’t love others, I don’t love Him is SO convicting! Because I want to say, “I do! I love you, Jesus!” and yet, my hard, judgmental heart says otherwise. And so does the LOVE chapter in 1st Corinthians 13.
But here is the very good news. He wouldn’t have required it if it weren’t possible. Not on my own, but through Him. Through that Incarnation not just here on Earth but that comes to our very own hearts.
The Word becoming flesh. His Spirit becoming flesh. Joining us in this hard life where you fall down and your feelings get hurt and sometimes your best plans fail.
But that wasn’t the end of it. That horrible death on the cross. Instead, He rose and upon His return to Heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit as a comforter and teacher to us. That He still dwells in us and in Him we live and move and have our being.
And in all of that, the things we cannot do on our own, He does in us and through us. Including loving when we don’t want to. When we don’t feel like it. When we are all loved out.
When loving is the farthest thing from our minds and hearts.
It is a holy mystery.
But I am oh, so grateful that even as He reveals my lack of LOVE for my fellow man, He has not left me alone there to grieve it. That He takes my hand and offers His heart and His spirit to me to know better so I can do better.
So 17 days in, as time flies, I’m still in.
How are your “resolutions” or plans, goals, ‘words’ going for 2017? What are you learning? I’d love to hear!