1 John 4:7-16

             Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.

             God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him.   In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another.

             No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.  By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.

             And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world.  God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God.  So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.

            Most of us have been raised on Hollywood movies depicting Christmas as a magical time of year.  Miracle on 34th Street and It’s a Wonderful Life form our vision of the time leading to Christmas.   We see in these fictions people who have the ability to overcome great obstacles, to be magnanimous in difficult circumstances, to be faithful when others are faithless.  In part, we anticipate this time of the year because of our possibly unrealistic expectations of a world-wide transformation of human behavior.  

            And yet the writer of the first epistle to John gives us the basis for this hope, this promise of life changed.  God is Love made manifest in God’s incarnation in Jesus the Christ.  When our faith is placed in the human/divine Jesus, we may be transformed.  The love that God showed in Jesus is ours to have and to share with one another.  When we do that – love one another – in Christ’s name, we can transform and transform the world.  It can be a transformation that lasts beyond the shopping season.  It can be our life. That’s pretty magical.  

Savior God,

may we believe that we are loved and can love

 to heal a fragmented world.

 

Rev. Magdalyn Sebastian

Wheeling – First Christian Church

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