Thursday, December 24, 2015

In the Picture: Ourselves

Read: 1 John 4.7-12
 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.
You might have been wondering who could be left to talk about from the Christmas story, but the last person we need to put “in the picture” is absolutely vital if it is to mean anything at all.

To discover who this person is you will need to find a mirror and take a long look into it.

The story we have been considering over the past weeks isn’t a piece of ancient history. It is a story which is still alive and life-giving in our present age.
“God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him”, says the writer of the first letter of John. Many billions of people through the ages have found meaning for their lives through following the steps of the man whom the infant Jesus grew into. Perhaps you are one of them.

The first letter of John, though, says something even more radical than this. “If we love one another, God lives in us and his love is perfected in us.” We have seen many different pictures of God’s love over the past few weeks, but the picture he wants to draw right now is the one which includes us. We become part of his picture, says this letter, as we love one another. As the carol “ O little town of Bethlehem” puts it “ Cast out our sin and enter in/ Be born in us today.”

  •  Which pictures, and which parts of the nativity story have spoken most powerfully to you out of all those we have looked at?
  • What do you feel you need to do in response to this series of Advent thoughts?
  •  If you would like to, get in contact to let me know what effect these Advent thoughts have had on you.

Revd Anne Le Bas, 01732 762955,
facebook: stpeterandpaulseal                         twitter: @sealpandp

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