Christmas Preparation: Prioritize Love

Angie Frame here. I’m one of the teaching pastors at PCC, serving primarily as the Midlothian Campus Pastor, and I’m helping out with the blog for a bit.

My head is swimming; my calendar is crowded; my hours are full with Christmas lists to fulfill, goodies to bake, and events to attend. I love it! I love the hustle and bustle, the fullness of the season, the excitement and anticipation. I even love the lists, especially crossing them off.

But it’s a lot.

At times, something has to give. I just can’t do all the holiday festivities I want to do. I have to prioritize. For my family, there are a few traditions that are musts—visiting the Legendary Santa, touring Richmond’s most lit-up houses, and making Nana’s sugar cookies. There are others that are great, but aren’t top priorities like finding Rudolph in the James Center lights and baking pumpkin gingerbread.

We have to prioritize in all areas of our lives. It can be hard to select the priority when there are so many vying for the top spot. How do you decide?

People once asked Jesus what the top, the greatest, commandment was. Again, there were so many to choose from, selecting one seemed impossible. But, of course, Jesus had an answer:

 
34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22, NIV)

 
The very top priority, the greatest commandment, is one of love: Love God with all your heart, soul, and mind. And the next priority is also one of love: Love your neighbor as yourself.

Jesus sets our top two priorities–LOVE.

Love goes into so many of our Christmas traditions. We show our love with gifts carefully selected and wrapped. We cook and bake with love. We create magical moments for our kids, because we love them and love seeing their faces full of joy.

Other times, however, our Christmas traditions get in the way of our loving God and loving our neighbors. We become so busy and stressed that we’re anything but loving towards our friends and family. We don’t take time to tell God how much we love him. We get so distracted by our busyness that we fail to see the neighbor who needs an act of love. We let other priorities push aside our top priority—LOVE.

 

As the Advent week of LOVE winds down, let’s reflect.

Is love your top priority this Christmas?

What are your family’s top Christmas priorities (traditions, events, sweets)?

Is there something currently on your calendar or “to do” list that should come off so that you can love more fully?

Name one neighbor, co-worker, friend, or family member to whom you will show love this week.

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