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He Is Waiting For Your Love

December 25, 2016

chrsitmas-treeBy Rev. Enzo Pellini

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.  This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.  But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

John 3:16-21
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If you came to the Church today because you usually do it every Sunday, or if you came to church today because someone insisted you come to church or invited you cordially, because today is Christmas’ Eve and you have to come to church at Christmas!, or you do not know why you are here today in the Church, because you don’t usually come to Church throughout the year, I want to declare to you that the fact that you are here today, no matter what the reason, it is not a coincidence, it is not just by your own decision that you are today here. Someone blessed your life this evening and is giving you the opportunity to be among the community of believers who gather in the name of Jesus Christ. You’ve come with everything you have, with problems, with unresolved situations that you would like to finish so you can start a new kind life; so you came to the right place. If you are willing to accept a wonderful invitation on this night, I assure you that you will find the answer to what you have been bitterly looking for until today. But now everything will depend on you. Let me tell you about it.

There is an old German Christmas song that says ‘Alle Jahre wieder’ or every year again. Every year again we read the same reading of the Gospel of Luke Chapter 2 about the history of Jesus’ birth. We don’t know exactly when Jesus was born, because no date appears anywhere in the Bible. But centuries ago we decided to remember the birth of Jesus especially on this date and tomorrow too.

Everything else, the ornaments, Christmas shopping, Christmas meals and family get togethers, are only accessories, the icing on the cake, during the festivity we call ‘Christmas’ or the day of our Lord Jesus Christ’ birth. By the way, Christmas means ‘a mass for Christ’ or we could say today a “service day for Christ.”

Every year, again and again, we want to repeat precisely this message: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16).

Surely many of us that had the blessing of a good upbringing in the faith already know this verse by heart. I know it by heart in my mother tongue; I also learned it in several other languages because I needed to. Yet whenever I read these words from the Gospel of John, I discover something new. Why? Because every time you read these words from the Bible, the Holy Spirit of God, which is related to the reading of the Bible, —when we do so with faith and reverence— reveals other things to me. That is why I’m maturing, I’m growing in faith or I’m strengthening in my faith. That’s the reason why Christians read the Bible and get together with other believers. The Holy Spirit is God himself; the invisible God who rules the universe. Anyone who wants to nourishment and formidable power from that Spirit will only have to approach him with faith and reverence.

A well-known TV presenter, when she repeated subjects on her television program, used to say: ‘don’t worry that we are talking about the same topic today, because the public is always being renewed.’ The same happens in the Church; the public that we have every year is always a little different. But the same is not true for the church; we do not say ‘don’t worry that the reading is from Luke 2 again.’ That is because the message is always new and refreshing because of the Spirit. Every Sunday the message is always new and challenging despite the same thing being told to us again and again:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”. That’s refreshing, isn’t it? Why is that? If you still haven’t accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, that is, as the authority in your life and as the one who will give you paradise beyond your life, you haven’t truly believed in him yet. Remember that the devil, who is for now the Prince of this world, also believes in the existence of God and Jesus Christ, but he doesn’t obey God or have respect for his word. There are many others who say they believe in God, but like the devil, they don’t obey God or Jesus Christ through his word, the Bible. And if that surprises you today, then this reading will be really something new for you; something fresh and non-repetitive. Maybe it feels a little routine for you if you’ve accepted it already. For those who have already accepted to believe in Christ it is perhaps routine, like the German song that states: ‘every year again’? No, because every time we go to the Bible we learn something new, and the Spirit speaks to us in other aspects of our lives.

The meaning of Christmas is to be able to find out precisely this: If you have already accepted to believe in Christ as the son of God, the Savior of the world, who is full of amazing love and grace and who wants to grant you abundant life in this life and eternal life beyond this world? God is love, and he sees everything good and loving as part of His creation and He wants us to live in His love. But above all things, he wants us to love Him firstly and then also our neighbor. If we decide to love our neighbor, but we forget to love God, then there is something that we’re doing wrong.

When we read the verse for today’s message: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”, it says to us that when we decide to believe in Christ as God’s son and respect His will as expressed in the Bible, we are loving God. Then the fruit of this love will also be expressed in love toward our neighbours. But we shouldn’t forget to believe in Him, which is to love Him and to show that love every Sunday when we gather in the Church to worship Him and to nourish ourselves with his word in community. He promises us in the Bible: “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them”. (Mt 18:20)

May God grant us tonight a new sign of His grace, his infinite love to invite us to live a more abundant life on this earth and the gift of eternal salvation for every one of us if we decide to believe in Him, which is nothing other than loving Him. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”. Amen. The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Amen

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