I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. (John 15:11-12)
This time of year can get outrageously busy. To-do lists get long, calendars get full, and the busyness of the season can start to sap our joy. We may know, intellectually, that love is the most important thing about this season, but we still fall short of putting that love into practice.
We invite you to take a moment and reflect on how you can follow Jesus' command from John 15:12—to love each other as He has loved us—so that our joy may be complete.
How do you need to spend your time and energy to love others as God has loved you?
Think about your priorities—the activities or moments for connection that are most essential to your celebration of the Advent season.
Maybe this will include spending time with important people, following through on a beloved family tradition, or attending a special worship service.
Then reconsider your calendar and to-do lists. What can you eliminate to leave you time and energy for the most important things?
After all, it helps to remember that the first Christmas was a pretty simple event—just one family in a stable. But the impact of those simple events is still felt today. Living out the love that God showed us in the birth of Jesus is the surest way to make our joy complete.
We encourage you to take time this weekend to reflect on the reality behind the symbols of faith appearing all around you right now.
As you decorate your home, share with your family and friends the significance of the lights, angels, and nativities.
Turn your evening walk through the neighborhood into an opportunity for prayer inspired by the visual reminders of Christ's coming.
Or, if nothing else, find a few minutes to go outside and, like Martin Luther, look up at the stars and wonder at the Light of the World sent to guide our feet into the path of peace.