Delivering cookies or treats, searching for a special gift for that certain someone and spending time with people we care about are examples of how we show our love, especially this time of year. While we feel numerous kinds of love for others and things in this world, only One person embodies a love that expects nothing in return: Jesus.
This sort of love is referred to as agape derived from the Greek word for this type of love. Back in the day as a teen, our youth director formed a singing group called the Agape Force. We sang at church and out in the community as a way of sharing our agape love with each other and our world. It was my first time hearing there were variations of the word love in the Bible. But it made sense: I loved God and my family differently than I loved my friends or my favorite sweater.
Singing in the Agape Force was a fun way to hang with friends, have fun and share our love of Jesus. It strikes me hearing current news that maybe we all could share a little more agape love with each other. Headlines scream of violence, political rhetoric and selfish antics. We need a massive injection of agape love! Now, we’re not getting the group back together but who better to inject His love, at this time of year than all of us-followers of the ultimate example of agape love?
Jesus met people exactly where they were and loved them in that moment. It didn’t matter when, who they were or where they were from. He loved everyone. His example can lead us as we spread agape-an unconditional love with no restrictions this season and everyday while we follow His footprints.
Let us love expecting absolutely nothing in return. Don’t worry about how to make the time or do it correctly, just do it! Open the door for someone, say “thank you and Merry Christmas” to the harried clerk, leave a surprise gift for someone, taking no credit. Spread Jesus’ example of agape love in our little corners of life. It won’t eliminate the self-centeredness of this world, but it will shine Jesus’ light into it.
I’m a firm believer when we give of ourselves, we receive so much more in return. But agape love isn’t about that. Sometimes, agape love is about planting a seed. A seed that says, “God loves you.” Period. It can be daunting reaching beyond ourselves to share that type of love. Nonetheless, all we need is Jesus to look at and hold onto as we stretch outside our comfort zones.
Advent and Christmas are for preparing and celebrating Jesus’ entry into our human world. He lived perfectly and we have His example as we follow His lead. The next time our lists, priorities or wants threaten to distract us from the real Love of Christmas, let’s remind ourselves: it’s not about us, it’s about sharing His agape love with the world.