Christmas Day 2021 has come and gone, but the Spirit of Christmas is still with us. In many hearts Christmas is not just a day but a season. A season of joy, happiness, and manifest love. Christmas is the season when abundant love flows freely in everyone’s heart. In fact, the Christmas season is a time of overflowing love. Love suddenly comes alive at Christmas as if it is a gadget that can be switched on and off. It fills every home, every workplace, and every Church. It is the time of the year when the prayers of Apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 3:12 rings loud and clear in every ear and is answered in every heart. “May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.” This is a prayer for love to fill every heart even as it is extended to everyone. We thank God for this season because it is a season when God’s desire for His children to love one another as they love themselves is most manifested.
There are other people out there who do not get this love at Christmas thing. There are folks out there who have turned Christmas into the time that people are exploited. The crass consumerism of many of us aids this exploitation. We must however continue to remind ourselves as children of God that the reason for this season is Christ Himself. It is the unmatched love the Lord has for His children that led Him to send His son to reconcile us with Him. The reason for the joy in the air should be because we know that without Christ’s coming, we will not know what would have become of our relationship with God. Where will our hope be? Where will our salvation be? Knowing these therefore, we must develop a new discipline as children of God. Let us develop a spirit of contentment with what we already have and look outward to see what other people need with the desire of helping meet them.
Yes, the Christmas Day may be gone, but can we in the spirit of the season continue to spread love to all people as the Lord desires of us? In 1 Thessalonian 3, Apostle Paul first praised the Church at Thessalonica because he saw their faith as part of the apostolic mission of the Church. He then proceeded to pray for them that their love may abound and overflow because he also knew that faith without love is nothing. If the love within us must be seen as overflowing, then it requires us as children of God to step up and step forward in faith loving everyone and helping to meet the needs of God’s people. We must make our love known to the world by fleshing out our love, and not just thinking about it, or saying it, but acting on it. If we must make the love of Christ known to all people, it will take more than words – it requires action. Every love shared must show tangible results. Every love shared must involve some sacrifice on our part. Many times, the act of love on our part are dangerously sacrificial. It is when we still engage in these love acts, despite the dangerous sacrifice on our part, that we can claim the love of Christ is overflowing in our hearts.
Our love is overflowing when it leaves a great impact or impression. When something leaves a lasting impact, then it lives in the memory beyond the normal length of its days. My brothers and sisters, rather than share your love to those who do not need it this season, seek out the poor, the sick, those who are looking for someone to hold them, those who are yearning for a listening ear, and show them your love. We all are able to make lasting memories when we love, the only impetus is that our hearts must be overflowing with love. The point I am trying to make is that there is more to Christmas than the carols, the gift exchanges, the sumptuous dinners etc., but it takes a heart overflowing with love to see them. The day is gone the season is still here, so, it is not late to reach out and touch somebody with overflowing love. The love that Christ brought to our hearts at Christmas should also not be limited to this season. Let it flow abundantly throughout the year and throughout our lifetime. That is when it can be said that we are truly followers of Christ.
May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else this season and always!
December 26, 2021– Pastor Simbo Odunaiya