1 John heart


1 John4: 9 says, “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. ”  I was focusing on those words on Christmas Eve and trying to get across that in Christ we have life and have it abundantly.  We have all the riches of God and choose to live poor.  We have life and choose to live like the walking dead. 

At the same time I have always had difficulty keeping my calender and understanding that time frame between Christmas and New Years.  It should be easy but for some reason it is not that simple.  The Sunday after Christmas brings us into a harsh reality of a nasty and brutish world were Christ becomes a refugee with a mad tyrant trying to kill him.  The murder of the innocents is held before our eyes and we look in the Bible to see the same monstrosities there that we see on the headlines and the news every day.

Time flies, and it reminds us of the fact that the end of our earthly life is ever drawing nearer and with it the
day when our bodies must be laid in the grave. However, the ever green tree under which we gathered for worship, this symbol of life and immortality, brings comfort to our hearts as we think of death and the end of our earthly days, it speaks to us of the one who came into the flesh to die for us and give us life and immortality.

After Christmas Eve Services I received word that my Aunt Vivian Seter had died.  Vivian was one of those people that was always there for the family.  If there was wedding, an illness, and new baby, or any of those events that mark the milestones of life, Vivian was usually there with her camera.  She was a Post Mistress for many years and ran post offices in Carbury and  Knox ND.  She was one of those steady influences in life that were a constant.  It is hard to imagine family gatherings without her.

Christmas comes and goes each year with a quicker pace than the year before.  The children that I baptized when I first came to Grafton are having children of their own and their grandma’s and grandpa’s and aunt’s and uncle’s are passing on.  The generations come and go and the milestones of life mark off our passing through this world.  The one constant, even more constant than Vivian, is the love of God in Christ.  The Christmas gift of the heavenly Father gives us life in this world and life in the world to come.

Luther commenting on the passage from 1 John says that ……..

He does not say that God hath given us some gift, but love itself and the fountain of all honors, the heart itself, and that not for our works or efforts, but of His grace..