Stephanie Pearce: Jesus’ love and acceptance
I’ve been pondering Christmas. What is Christmas about? Not the holiday that we celebrate currently, but the birth of a man that would have an impact on the world forever — the birth of Jesus. No matter what your beliefs are, the life of this one man has impacted the world since his birth.
I can’t help but think about Mary and the feelings she must have experienced. She could have been killed for being an unwed mother. She knew who she was carrying, but she was human, as well. She watched her belly grow, felt him kick, and I’m sure she was anxious and excited to see him come into this world. I suppose her body went through all the changes that moms experience. She may have had some heartburn, swollen feet, the uncomfortable nights with little sleep near the end of her term.
This would be her first-born baby boy. To hold God’s son in her arms and know that she would have to give him up one day must have made her heart fill with emotion. When she watched him hang on the cross at the end of his life, did she wonder if carrying him into this world was worth all the pain? How do you still love after watching your son be beaten and hung on a cross by your own people?
Then there was Joseph. He knew who Mary was carrying, too. He would be there as Mary gave birth in a stable. He was going to raise this boy. He would teach Jesus everything he knows. He was willing to let him go teach the world about his heavenly father. What a concept.
What love these two must have had for each other and for their son. What faith they must have had in him. Can you imagine the love they shared?
Today, we hate so easily. We write people off quickly. We judge so harshly. We start riots when we don’t agree. We hurt innocent people in the name of justice. All of these things are the total opposite of all that Jesus taught. Jesus said in John 13:34-35: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Whether you are a follower of Jesus or not, what better words could we live by? What if we didn’t work so hard to change people but loved them right where they are? Could your love be what they need? What if that was enough? What if we didn’t worry if someone is worthy of our help, but if we were happy that we helped them in that moment?
That is truly Christmas. Christmas is about love and a celebration of hope for our future. Please spread some love to others in these few days before Christmas.