Ever notice how something you’re doing today can trigger memories of some years ago. This happened to me as I made our Sunday dinner few weeks ago. My husband has a fondness for pies, and I was preparing one of his favorites — gooseberry! Suddenly, it was as if it was yesterday but some 20 plus years ago.
It was Christmas, and my stepchildren were visiting for the holidays. We had done all the usual kid things — baking cookies and decorating them, making fudge, shopping for their daddy and each other, and settled our share of disagreements, especially my stepdaughter and me.
The two of us were in the kitchen on Christmas Eve, and she was on a stool leaning over the counter as I made a pie and other favorite dishes for Christmas dinner. It was a gooseberry pie. Suddenly, she asked me if I liked to bake pies, and I responded that I really didn’t. That’s when she asked, “Then why do you do it?” The answer came so easy. I told her that her daddy loved pie, especially gooseberry, and I loved her daddy so I made pie for him. She looked at me with all the confusion of an 11-year old. I continued by saying that when we love someone we do extraordinary things for them, just like Jesus does for us. I said that Jesus loves us, and so in sharing His love I often do things that I don’t really like to do but I do them anyway. She pondered that for a while, and then said, “I see,” and wandered off. I’ve often wondered if she’s ever thought about our conversation again. I know I have. In fact, I think of it often for I hope it has made a difference in her life.
I’ve also thought many times about the love shared at that first Christmas long ago. God so willingly brought his Son to earth and then shared Him with us, knowing all the while what the ultimate sacrifice would be. He doesn’t ask nearly that of us in our every day walk. He merely asks that we share that special love, the love of a Father for His children.
There’s a love shared in the Bible that is the foundation for the sharing of love of the kind I talked to my stepdaughter about. Although not a specific part of the Christmas story, John 13:34 tells us:
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
This love we are to share is to extend to all peoples — family, strangers, homeless, the young and old, the hungry, and on and on. The only condition set upon this love in John 13 is that we “must love one another” the same way Jesus has loved us. If we truly understand the love He shares with us, we will be filled with an eager desire to share that love. That’s what I was doing that Christmas Eve, sharing that unconditional love with family by preparing the special dishes that they enjoyed and enjoying time together.
What have you done this holiday season, or today, or in the past that showed that amazing love that Jesus has so graciously shared with you?