Love has come for you!

Wednesday 13 Dec

This Christmas, we praise God that love has come for us.

This month our Leadership Team is meeting with our teams from across Africa, Asia and Australia. It is always an encouraging time as we hear stories and highlights from 2023; as we celebrate the mission of God in the hands of ordinary people. 

As I meet with our teams, I am often struck by the love they have for those they live and serve alongside, their neighbours and friends in communities across the globe. This love and burden flows from our team members’ deep appreciation of God’s love for them and the people and neighbourhoods they serve. 

As one team member told me last week: I am still amazed that God chooses someone like me to share his love with those I am privileged to live alongside. And this year I have been regularly reminded that I am at my best when I am stop and come back to the basics, that I am a loved child of God. I know how to do ministry as a professional, but I can easily go through the motions. It’s very different when the Spirit reminds me of how much I am loved by my gracious God and how much He loves the people around me in this impoverished place I call home.”

As we move through this season of Advent, I have been reading reflecting on some wonderful prayers and poems from Kate Bowler and Jessica Richie in their book “The Lives We Actually Have". 

In our broken, hurting and chaotic world. In the midst of our lives – the mountain-top, the messy and the mundane. In a world where we see so much darkness, the beautiful season of Advent reminds us that love, hope and peace are coming anew!

Bowler and Richie write: “God, we are waiting for love.”

These seem very appropriate words in our world at the end of tumultuous 2023. And as I read them, I am reminded by my colleague’s comments above. May I see with fresh eyes and experience within my heart in new ways, the depth of God’s love for me. May this love motivate me to live, look, love and lead more like Jesus. 

Let me encourage you to read this poem/prayer slowly a number of times in the days ahead that we might receive afresh the love that has come for us! Love with skin on! Love like no other. 

“God, we are waiting for love, 
not the simple kind or the sweep-you-off-your feet kind, 
but the absurd kind.

The kind wrapped in rags, 
resting in a bucket of animal feed. 
Love enough to save us all. 

Blessed are those who look for Love, 
deeper, fuller, truer- than we have ever known, 
than we could ever hope for. 

Blessed are we who seek you, 
the light that dawned so long ago 
in that dark stable. 
Love given. 
Love received. 

Receive this gift, dear one. 
Love has come for you!

Yes, love has come for us! And we are sent into our communities with that love, the absurd kind!

May you and your family have a wonderful, joyous Christmas season. Thank you for your partnership in sharing the amazing love of Jesus across the world. 

Grace and peace,
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