1 John 4:19-21
19We love because he first loved us. 20If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.
God loves us. Despite our failures. Despite our issues, baggage, lack of faith, greed, and disobedience. God loves us.
But how can we claim to love God, yet fail to love our brothers, the creation he loves most, the creation made in His image?
It is easy to say we love God, whom we have not seen, because we create our own image of him. He is our Santa Claus, our benevolent giver, our once-a-week pick-me-up. We love who we want him to be. But I believe that to truly show our love for God, we must love his people. That is far more challenging, and a much greater show of love. We are given countless opportunities each day to show love to God by loving our fellow humans, yet we so often fail. We get angry in traffic when someone cuts us off, we fume if someone gets ‘our’ parking spot, we lie, we hurt each other, we get jealous of what others have. What would happen, though, if we woke up tomorrow and we saw the face of Jesus in every person we met? What would we do? What if Jesus cut us off? What if Jesus was that person who ‘stole’ our parking spot? Would we react the same? I don’t think so! Remember this verse:
‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these; you did not do for me.’
If we do not love our brother, sister, neighbor, fellow human, we do not love God!
So in this most holy time of our Lord’s birth, let us remember to see Christ in each person we meet, no matter how lowly they may seem. Let us treat each other with the love and respect that we give our Lord.
We love you so much. Help us remember who you are. Help us remember to love what you have created. Please forgive us for the ways that we have wronged each other. You are our most holy, and we love you.