after advent:

Re-Gifting Our Best

As I have been exploring the four advent words, Peace, Hope, Joy and Love… I have been reminded of one very important truth. Each one of these aspects of the human experience has its origin and ongoing expression, not in things… not even in ourselves… but in God. They are gifts from God, and not just to those who believe in Him. They are universal gifts, given to all humanity – gifts of common grace – like rain on the land or air in our lungs.

But in truth, they are more than just gifts from God. Peace, Hope, Joy and Love are all aspects of God’s nature. They are a part of who He is. This means then, that because every person on the face of the planet is created in the image of God, Peace, Hope, Joy and Love are aspects of the divine essence that dwell in every human being.

The problem we face however, is that our brokenness prevents us from experiencing the fullness of these gifts in our lives, and we will go to extraordinary lengths in pursuit of them. No matter the cost. Whatever the damage.

That is why the coming of the Anointed One, Jesus, is so important. When God entered into the human experience through His son, Peace, Hope, Joy and Love became incarnate also. Jesus became the living expression of these gifts.

As followers of Jesus, we have a wonderful opportunity, and indeed a responsibility, to live out these aspects of God’s nature in the world around us. As we do, we may just discover that we have more in common with those around us than we remember. The step from unbelief to belief is not as big as we think and sharing the gifts we have received might be all it takes to invite people to step a little closer toward God.

Something to prayerfully consider this week:

What might it look like for you to re-gift the Peace, Hope, Joy and love that you have received from God this Christmas season?

Photo by Craig Birrell on Unsplash