Artist, Author, Mental & Spiritual Health Mentor, Coach for the Creative Mind
A gift of love this Christmas
A gift of love this Christmas

A gift of love this Christmas

If you were to be asked what the true meaning of Christmas was, what would you say? Family? Food? Presents? Charity? Giving? Or maybe love? Love is possibly the word that would most often be used to describe Christmas. Love pretty much covers all the bases with the aforementioned meanings. We love many things that the Christmas season affords us. But do we actually understand what love is and what it means to love? Unfortunately, the word has become diluted and muddied by other words like lust, greed, and obsession. True love is a pure and unselfish thing that takes hard work and sacrifice. So how do we give a gift of love at all?

What is love?

Love is an action

a gift of love. love in action. love. Eric Fromm.
Mind, Body & Soul

So often in our world today, love is depicted as a feeling. A warm fuzzy feeling that we get when we experience something wonderful. And all too often it’s the feeling that is focused on. But behind this, there is an action. Love is essentially a doing word, a verb. To love means to physically go out of your way to show, tell, express, prove, that you do in fact love something or someone. It requires effort, time, dedication, passion, and is something or someone we are willing to invest our precious energies into.

When we say we love someone or something; if our actions do not match what we say then the words are meaningless. Love is an action that must be displayed daily in order for it to last and ring true.

Love, in other words

It’s just a word. A very nice word, to be sure. But love is just a word. It’s a word that needs to be backed up by many other words in order for it to be true. Those actions I mentioned above are some of the words that help make love happen. Otherwise, it’s just deprived of meaning. So what is love, in other words?

Here are some words that express love and give it meaning:

  • Patience
  • Gentleness
  • Kindness
  • Perseverance
  • Unjudgeing
  • Humility
  • Generous
  • Supportive
  • Committed

There are literally hundreds of words that give love its true definition. It is nothing without them. We cannot possibly express love without these words and their action. So love, in other words, are all of these things. Love is what we do, it’s what we say, it’s how we act. It’s the best of us expressed externally and something we must always work at.

Love and Christmas

The Christmas Story is a story of love. So many times throughout the story we see expressions of love through words backed up by action. Let me show you:

Mary and Joseph

Mary was a young girl who was promised to Joseph. They weren’t fully married, as was the custom with Jewish Law and they wouldn’t live together for a year. But they were to be faithful to each other. They made promises. It was likely that Mary had little say in the matter, but Joseph chose her as his wife for a reason. He must have seen something in her that he liked, possibly loved, and wanted to commit his life to her.

Now fast forward and we find out that Mary has conceived a child by the Holy Spirit. This would have been a terrifying thing to happen to her in a society that would stone women for such things as adultery. They weren’t fully married so no marital relations would have been allowed. And yet, here she is with child.

And what does Joesph do? Well, I’m sure initially he would have been extremely hurt. He would have been busy preparing for her moving in and he finds out his promised wife has been unfaithful? Essentially the decision of her fate was on his shoulders. But the story goes that after Mary explains the situation, an Angel of the Lord appears to Joseph in a dream and confirms all she has said. Now, Joseph could have dismissed the dream, but he doesn’t. He takes it as confirmation of Mary’s innocence.

So in a massive act of love, Joseph accepts the child as his own, protects Mary from a horrible fate, and proves his love to her by going against what was expected of him. His promises and words to her at their marriage would have been meaningless and empty if he had handed her over to the townsfolk to be stoned. His love took action and proved itself.

It had been foretold

give a gift of love. magi.
written in the stars

Many thousands of years before the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, his birth had been foretold. Indeed, King Herod and the Magi in the story were fully aware of the prophecies and followed the stars closely for signs.

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

Isaiah 7:14

This is just one of many prophesies about the arrival of Jesus. But the words were empty unless they were fulfilled. All of the prophets who had written about this promised saviour for centuries beforehand never lived to see them fulfilled, but the Magi did. They saw the signs in the stars and trusted the prophesies. But ultimately it was God who proved his love by sending Jesus to the world. All of those words would have been meaningless and false if there had been no followthrough. Words backed up by action. The ultimate act of love.

Give a gift of love

This Christmas, amongst all the presents, lights, food, and family, make sure that you remember to give a gift of love too. In your actions, show the people around you that you truly love them by making the extra effort. Be patient, be kind, and all those things listed above. All the Fru Fru that smothers Christmas is fun and makes the season extra special, but it’s in our actions of love that we truly give a gift of love. So be generous with it, there’s always enough to go around. Show your love for your fellow human being and give love where you can.

a gift of love. Henry Miller. Love. Christmas.
Mind, Body & Soul

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