Advent: Share Love

We say we love our families, and we say we love donuts. Hopefully we don’t love those two the same way, but if that is your struggle, you are probably looking for a different blog.

One of the problems with love is the word itself. We use love to describe our feelings towards all kinds of things: our children, a sports team, our pets, the weather, gas station jerky, activities, songs, movies, and sweaters.

Greek, which is the original language of the New Testament, was a step ahead of English when it comes to love. They had several different words for love, each one focused on a different aspect.

However, when God took on flesh, was born in Bethlehem, lived a perfect life, and died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin and rebellion; even all the Greek love words came up short.

Except one. Agape.

Agape was a really old Greek word for love. Homer used it way back in the days of The Iliad and The Odyssey, but its meaning wasn’t clearly defined. It had a vague sense of love between soldiers who fight together on the battlefield, but it was hardly ever used.

Jesus showed up, and a new way to describe love was needed. So the NT writers grabbed agape and gave it new meaning.

This happens all the time. Old words pick up a new meaning and suddenly become part of our language in a new way. We saw it this year with the word zoom. 2020 brought zoom a new meaning (which basically is “going to a meeting without having to put on pants”), and now zoom is everywhere.

So the writers of the New Testament gave agape a new meaning, because Jesus came and showed us what love really is.

The Christmas story is a story of love. John 3:16 tells us that God so loved the world, that He gave us His son… The “so loved” part of that verse is highlighting the way that God loved us. God loved us in this way – He gave us His son.

To live for us. To die for us. To rescue us. To give us hope.

This season of Advent is a time to remember God’s amazing love. Find some time to slow down. Be intentional in your remembering. Find an Advent devotional that causes you to marvel at the love God puts on display.

This season of Advent is also a time to respond. John tells us that “we love because God first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Our first response to His love is to come and adore Him. Worship Him this season, and worship Him with your life.

Another way to respond is to share His love with others. That obviously starts with telling others of His amazing love, but it also includes showing others this kind of love.

Agape love. As shown to us by Jesus, it means pure, willful, intentional, sacrificial, and unconditional love.

Someone around you needs to experience that kind of love this season. Let’s show them a picture of God’s love by loving others well.

Let’s share love this Christmas.

Lance Shumake