With the Christmas season well and truly afoot, no doubt you have been hearing “O Holy Night” around the place. It clearly is a Christmas favourite. I’m sure you’re not too different from me, trying your best to belt out this classic in the car (it’s the best place to test out the high note, by the way……as long as you aren’t at the lights!)
It is truly a stunning representation of what that holy night may have looked like. However, the lyric that moves me is probably not the most well-known line in this carol:
“Truly He taught us, to love one another”
With all the various, beautiful and irreversible good things Jesus’ birth brought into the world, this is one that I am truly in awe of. It is by His example that we understand what it is to love our fellow man. He showed us how far love could go, the extent to which it reaches. He showed us what love could do when He laid His life down for His friends. In fact, Jesus says in John 15:13 that no greater love exists than this! Oh, that we would love each other, as Jesus exemplified!
God cares so much about how we treat each other. Way more than we like to acknowledge. There’s not a lot, in God’s perspective, that would justify the alternative. Not career, money, accolades, possessions, tasks, spiritual authority, position, titles……Rather, the Father desires that we “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (Philippians 2:3-4)
There are literally so many things that the body of Christ is known for these days. Some good and some bad. But this was the ONE thing He would want us to be known for. The one thing, that would separate us and identify ourselves as believers – our love for one another. And He has given us the example, in how he lived and died.
So this year, whilst you sing along to this favourite, may you also be moved to increase your love for one another the way Jesus taught and modelled!