If I decorate my house with beautiful bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny baubles, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another decorator.
If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of mince pies, roasting a perfect turkey, and lay a magnificent table, but have no love for my guests, I am just another cook.
If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity, but do not have compassion in my heart for those in need, I am just another social service; it profits me nothing.
If I decorate the tree with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes and attend a myriad of holiday parties but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.
Love stops the cooking to hug the child. Love sets aside the decorating to help one’s wife with boring housework. Love puts the Christmas present shopping on hold in order to run the elderly neighbour to the doctor. Love is kind, though harried and tired. Love doesn’t envy another’s home that has more expensive presents, or even coordinated Christmas china and table linen. Love doesn’t yell at the children to get out of the way; love is glad that they are there to be in the way. Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return, but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.
Love bears all things, even irritating relatives. It believes all things, and encourages teenagers to aim high for their future. It hopes all things, endures all things, even a spouse who is depressed about their job prospects. Love never fails other people. Computer games will crash, even cashmere jumpers will wear out, and golf clubs will get lost. But the gift of love will endure forever. Happy Christmas!
I first read the above article in the Broxbourne with Wormley Parish Magazine that an English friend puts together for her church. The article originally came from a paper called The Church News Service, which is not available here in the United States.