A few years ago my family had the incredible opportunity to ride bicycles down the side of a dormant volcano in Maui. In order to join the tour who arranged this sunrise adventure, we had to drive from our hotel on the other side of the island to the base of the volcano– where we were to catch the van that would take us and our gear to the peak. So, off we went at about 4:30 am, heading out into the inky blackness. At one point I was so amused by a sign which pointed off the highway with a recommended “view/ photo location” because literally, you could see nothing out there— not sea, or sky, or mountain… we could have been anywhere! Then someone turned on their porchlight. I’ll never forget it. From miles away we could see one little lightbulb, and whenever I think of it, I remember one of my favorite verses from God’s Word– “perfect love chases away fear”. See, though there was far more blackness than there was light– it was the light that captured my attention with the comfort that all would be well.
Love–such a little word; such a life-transforming concept. How many of us get it so wrong!! With evidence all around us of misuses and abuses, envy and self-loathing, prejudice and neglect, is it any wonder when fear/darkness seems to win? And then, God sent His Son… The sad thing of course is when those who (claim to) follow Jesus are also so broken that they too misrepresent God’s love to a desperate world. Love one another– it’s that simple, and that difficult.
Perfect love, the kind that chases away fear, is only possible with Christ. This is the love for those who’ve hurt us or our family members. This is the love for those whose lifestyle we don’t agree with, or who hold different beliefs. This is the love for those who are sick, in prison, or in some way seem to inconvenience our “safe little lives”. This is also the love for the enemies of our nation, for God’s love is for ALL His children!
When we know this kind of love, the world changes. Fear dissipates and we can see the light shining out of evil and darkness. This is my Christmas wish for all of you!!
With Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love–