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2020: Light a Candle for Love
This Advent, whether we gather in person or virtually, we can express the Love of God by demonstrating selfless concern during this pandemic.
The chief recommendation of the CDC has been to make the choice to spend the holidays with those in your immediate household. This can be challenging, especially when God has blessed you with many rich relationships. But, we like how the CDC has phrased it: “Hard choices to be apart this year may mean that you can spend many more years with your loved ones.” (The Holiday Season).
TRY: Writing or typing a letter or making a video for your loved ones outside of your immediate household, in which you describe the value they’ve added to your lives. After all, it’s a part of the reason you are choosing distance: to keep yourself and them safe. Let your love for them be made plain.
TRY: Expressing your love by making a phone call to those you would have liked to invite. Send a fruit basket, veggie platter or other meal option via mail or delivery.
TRY: Preparing traditional family recipes and delivering them to family members, neighbors, and others in a high risk category. Deliver the meals to the front door or have them pick up the meal without any direct contact with you. Be sure to wear a mask and have your hand sanitizer available to keep your hands clean. Follow these tips from the FDA for shopping for groceries and preparing food during COVID-19:
TRY: Hosting a virtual dinner in which you pick a recipe from the same healthy cookbook, video chat while preparing the meal, and share photographs of the highlights of the preparation after the gathering. You can even assemble these photographs into a virtual photo book to memorialize the holiday. Looking for a healthy cookbook? The 25 Best Healthy Cookbooks, According To Dietitians. Looking for an option for a free and professional looking virtual photo book? Adobe Spark: Photo Book Maker.
Many of us have difficulty understanding what the word love really means.The world defines love as a strong feeling, or affection expressed for someone or something. Biblical love is God’s love that is eternal: having no beginning or end. It’s unconditional, constant, never changing, never failing, and there is nothing that we can do to ever separate us from the love of God. (1 Corinthians 13: 4 - 8 and Romans 8: 38 - 39). He showed us how great His love was for us when He sent His only begotten Son into the world to shed His blood for our sins. It was by His life, death and resurrection that He demonstrated His love for us. (John 3:16 and 1 John 4:10).
God's greatest commandment is to love Him with all our heart, mind, soul and strength, whereas His second is that we should love one another as we love ourselves. (Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18). The two are connected: the proof of our fidelity to the first being borne out in our love for others. (Matthew 22: 36 - 40 and 1 John 4:20). God commands us, as recipients of His great love, to evidence our love for Him by loving others: being genuinely concerned for their wellbeing and providing them with practical care and encouragement.
During this season of Advent, as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus and anticipate His second coming, let us extend God's love to others. Call your loved ones. Check on your neighbors. Consider the plight of the alone and lonely. Engage your brothers and sisters by asking what you can do to serve them. And finally, let us show our love for Jesus by prioritizing the safety of our loved ones, and even our enemies.
Learn more about the biblical definition of love:
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Carolyn Sinclair McCalla is a daughter of God who believes that as we seek the truth of God's Word, and humble ourselves to live in agreement with it, that we will experience the transformation which allows us to enter wholistic wellness: spirit, soul and body. She is the Founder and President of EarthBasic and leads its Be-Held Community: a group of women seeking, living and being transformed by the truth of God’s Word together. She is excited about this addition to the Be-Held Community, which will provide loving, sustainable, Christ-centered and well researched resources to support women in cultivating a life of wholistic self-care: spirit, soul, and body, which will in turn equip them to bless the generations in their care.