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Sunday after Christmas

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First Sunday After Christmas: Love Endures All Things

January 1, 2017

"Love bears all things . . . endures all things." –I Corinthians 13:7


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Devotional Text

To read along with the audio, click on the red play button above and scroll below.

If we are the recipients of the enduring love of the Son of God, the Love Divine, how shall we respond?

We should respond in saving faith, first of all, believing in a personal way that when Jesus died on the cross, he did it for us as much as for anyone. Second, we should respond in loving gratitude by explicitly thanking him for the royal humiliation he suffered on our behalf. Finally—and this may be the hardest part—we should respond to the love of Jesus by loving other people the way that he loves.

What is the situation in life where God is calling you to loving endurance? Some of us suffer at school, where we are mocked for following Christ. Some of us suffer at work, where people have complaining attitudes that are hard for us to bear. Then there are the problems we have in our families—with our parents, our spouses, our children, or in other close relationships.

There are people who have harmed us, who have wounded us with hurtful words and battered us with painful blows, whether physical or psychological. How can we possibly bear to love them? Only the love of Jesus can empower us to keep on loving the people whom it hurts for us to love.

People sometimes say, “I know that God will never give me more than I can bear.” Actually, there are times when God does give us more than we think we can bear. Sooner or later, we all suffer unbearable losses, or face insoluble problems, or have to deal with impossible people. But although God may give us more than we can bear, he never gives us more than he can bear.

We are not alone. We do not have to bear all things or endure all things on our own. The love of the true Love Divine will carry us through. The more we know his love—the love of our suffering, saving King, who was sent to be born and to live among us before he died to save us and rose again to give us life—the more we are able to endure all things for him.

Let Us Pray 

Lord Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us, thank you for filling us with your divine love. Enable us to know your power at work in our lives so that we may love one another even when it hurts, knowing that we can love others only because you first loved us. Let us abide in your love so that we may glorify you.
—Kate Fredrikson ’17 and Kevin Seaman ’17, 2016-17 Student Chaplains

 

Reflective Question

Do we have the courage to ask God to help us love the people whom it hurts for us to love?

 


About the Art

Illustrations are courtesy of Hand & Cloth, an organization founded in 2007 by Sarah Aulie Ρουμπά ’04 that partners with global artisan groups and ministries to provide dignified, dependable employment for at-risk women in Bangladesh. The kantha dorokhas pictured here follow an ancient Bengali tradition in which women lovingly stitch together pieces of reclaimed cloth to create one-of-a-kind quilts for their families. The quilts beautifully embody Hand & Cloth’s mission to celebrate the creative, artisanal, and lovingly rendered work of women’s hands and their prayer that each women would come to know her special place in the world as the unique product of God’s loving handiwork.

 

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