Monday, December 25, 2017

Love is the Key

This post is a day late. Let’s pretend it’s still December 24.

A few months ago, I heard a sermon in which the pastor quoted a passage by author and preacher, Donald Barnhouse. It was in response to the Fruits of the Spirit passage in Galatians (5:22-23). He said, 
“Love is the key.
Joy is love singing.

Peace is love resting.

Patience is love enduring.

Kindness is love's truth.

Goodness is love's character.

Faithfulness is love's habit.

Gentleness is love's self-forgetfulness.

Self-control is love holding the reins."
I had never heard such a simple, and yet profound way of describing the fruits of the Spirit. Today, as we light the fourth Advent candle, the candle of fulfillment and love, it is all the more appropriate.
We can see each of these played out in the Christmas story:.

Love sang through the angel chorus.
Love rested on Mary’s lap.
Love endured since the time of the Garden.
Love brought truth when the Word became flesh.
Love showed its full character through sacrifice and meekness.
Love’s habit wove the threads of Christ’s story throughout generations.
Love’s self-forgetfullness emptied himself and took the form of a man.
Love came down to forever hold the reins against sin and darkness.

And we love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).

God knew full well what He was sending Jesus into. To quote the sermon I heard yesterday morning, “He knows we are all a mix of mess and beauty.” But His response is what makes all the difference. Instead of distancing Himself further from our sin, He took a giant step towards us in gracious love.

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. (Galatians 4:4-5)

Love is the key. Christ has come.

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