By REV. DR. BRIAN GIGEE
“Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful, arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; not rejoicing in wrongdoing but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.”–1 Corinthians 13:4-8
What does Christmas LOVE look like? Is it any different than what love feels like the Tuesday before the fourth of July or the Tuesday after? Lots of people have lots of ideas of what love is and what it is supposed to do. Some think love is a feeling. Some think love is a red heart with an arrow shot through it. I think LOVE is a verb… an action verb… and this Christmas I hope we all act out LOVE in a deeper way.
This happened at my house this past week… when our three-year-old granddaughter spent the night… not anticipated and certainly not rehearsed… you see the 2020 Christmas tree went up in our home the Saturday after Thanksgiving Day. That’s a bit early by my standards but I’m really looking forward to Christmas and wanted to throw a ‘Santa’s-little-helper-wrench’ into the mix of the way this year has unfolded. The old saying goes… “end well” and I’m hoping that 2020 will end in the positive and forward looking way we all desire.
So, the Christmas tree is up in the living room and the nativity set is on the floor just under the branches. “Tell her about Jesus, Gampa,” my wife suggested. As our granddaughter was sitting there looking at all the pieces, I sat down next to her and began to tell her about the angel who came to Mary and told her she would have a baby and how Joseph was visited by an angel as well and told to name the baby Jesus. I went on. Our granddaughter loves stories. “Then,” I said, “Joseph and Mary went down from Nazareth to Bethlehem…” along with all the other details in ‘3-year-old-ese’… that there was no room in the hotel and they had to stay in the barn with all the animals. She kept looking at all the pieces of the nativity and I continued… “the shepherds were also told by an angel to come visit the baby Jesus and three kings rode their camels to bring Jesus gifts of gold”… and before I could utter ‘frankincense and myrrh’… she picked up the last figurine and proclaimed… ‘and the cow jumped over the moon!’ (NOTE: laughter permitted.) Keep reading…
Then it was time for breakfast.
I wasn’t surprised by the overlap of stories told under the Christmas tree. Our lives our full of them. Some true. Some myth. Some fairy tale. They are out there, and they are many … and we only know the stories we’re told! Yet, what is significant is making sure we keep telling the stories which matter… the ones with lasting value … and when it comes to the Christian faith… that we keep telling the story of Jesus in a way that is meaningful for everyone… young and old and all those in between.
Many children… and even some adults can name all the members of the Paw Patrol and comic book super-heroes or name the eight tiny reindeer… or the seven little dwarfs… but can they name the 10 Commandments or recite the Lord’s Prayer or talk about any of Jesus’ disciples? Stories matter. Faith matters. Word.
Then, after breakfast, our granddaughter took the manger with the baby Jesus and placed it in the center of the room… and soon after… Skye, Chase, Rubble and friends showed up to “visit the baby Jesus, too!”, she said with joy. “Love is patient and kind” so wrote St. Paul… LOVE is an action verb… and I have more stories to tell!
The Rev. Dr. Brian K. Gigee is a long-time resident of Pearland, having pastored four churches over the last four decades in Texas and Louisiana. You can read more following his blog ‘murmurings’ at https://briangigee.wordpress.com/. Comments and / or questions can be sent to [email protected].