For The Brethren / The Essence of Christmas – December 15, 2022 (376/365)

The Essence of Christmas

Facilitated by Pastor Joedy

If we ought to know in simple words, Christmas is about love. We know it’s about the birth of Christ, our Savior. Gabriel told Joseph that this Boy would be named Jesus, and He would be called Immanuel, or ‘God with us’. Indeed, the Word was at the Beginning, and this Word became flesh, and dwelt among us. Being the Word, He was born to share a Word – To share a message.

We are to be channels of this message, and this message is love. John the beloved recalls in his account of the Communion, that after Christ washed their feet, He told the disciples something wonderful: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another. As I have loved you, you ought to love one another. And the world will know that you are Mine, when you love one another.”

Here lies a straight and direct message that the Son of God came to share to us – for us to love one another, as we have been loved by Christ. The ‘love’ mentioned here was translated from agape, or divine love. It’s a one way love coming from the Lord, that we allow through us and to extend out of us. We see in the cross how this love was bridged to us.

For us to appreciate the message of Christmas, we ought to go beyond the parties and the gifts, and see how we were sought after by God to be vessels of His love. Christ came to walk with God and to show us how that walk could change our own lives. How He walked was a perspective of how we walk and carry His message. As He walked, we ought to walk – not to be LIKE Him, but to see deeper into it.

Jesus Christ walked in dependence to the Father. He would not say what the Father did not tell Him to say. Consequently, the message of God’s love just continued to flow through Him. And this is certainly a walk we could walk as well – one of dependence in the Creator whom we now also call Father, one of not only receiving but carrying and appreciating God’s everlasting love towards us. Christ empowers us with this love for it to flow through us… that we would love others.

3 Ways To Share The Love Of Jesus:

By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.1 John 3:16-18

From the lens of grace, we could see this and freely give our lives to and for others, from appreciating how Christ lay it all down for us. This is totally contrary to our way of loving out of our own strength and terms – we don’t love for God to love us, but we love because God has loved us, and we know this through Christ who laid His life for us.

The Truth is we can only love because God loved us first, and made His home in us. It’s not us trying our best to love. Human love is not perfect. No, it’s Agape/Agapao – divine love that allows us, FREES us to love one another.

1.Loving the brethren as Jesus loved.

Jesus loved depending on the Father. And it is from that love that He tells us to love one another, sharing there is no greater love than when a man lays down his life for his friends.

Churches split. We see all sorts of other lapses of love in the body of Christ… but we ought to see all of these things as easily overcome, compared to the great love of God towards each and every one of us. Besides, we who are in the light are simply incapable of completely hating another believer. Once the love of God shines in us through Christ, we are no longer in darkness and no longer susceptible to full-on hatred. It has no place in us, and it has no place in the body of Christ.

This same hate was what was knocking on the door of Cain’s heart. This was the same intense hate that Saul had. But while Cain fell victim to the hate, Saul, who then became Paul, gave consideration to the love of God for Him through Christ, and went on to make a full 180 to be an apostle. Even when hate knocks at our door, we ought to know that we are in possession of a living, everlasting Love, just as this Love will never let us go.

2.Helping the brethren when they are in need.

We are a family, and we help each other. It shouldn’t be so complicated. The fulfillment of the Law of Christ is loving one another, and this is demonstrated when we help one another. We bear one another’s burdens, and as such fulfill the law of Christ. We’re also reminded through Scripture that we shouldn’t grow weary in doing good. Though we aren’t related by blood, we are related to each other through the blood of Christ – or, ‘spiritual blood’, as Pastor Joedy puts it. There’s a whole bunch of us who are related to each other, and we are all brethren!

Paul tells the Corinthians about the Macedonian church that was more than willing to help out, through solid giving, even if they had little for themselves. Whenever we extend our help to the brethren, it’s an act of grace that would bring anyone and everyone to see the love of God for themselves.

3.Disciple the brethren

By this they shall know that we are of Christ, when we love one another. The world would know we are His disciples when we love one another. This personally should be a definition of discipleship. It is sharing our life with Christ, and it is encouraging others in their own life with Christ.

To disciple people, we need love. And this love and discipleship is shown through the following: Communication, Care, Correction, Collaboration and Celebration.

The message of Christmas is that we have received this love of God, and as much as we are able to project this to the world, it also means we love one another.

Indeed, by this all men will know we are Christ’s, when we love one another.


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