Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "There's A Song In The Air"1 (Lyrics)
2 Corinthians 13:11 – All that remains, my dear family, is this: celebrate, put everything in order, strengthen one another, think in the same way, be at peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. (NTE)
Ephesians 4:2 – With complete humility and gentleness, with patience, putting up with one another in love. (TLV)
Ah, the post office, a place where we all have to go at Christmas, even if it is with a smashed-and-broken soul, as I had then. The loudspeaker was blaring a loop of hollow-eared music from which every smidgen of spirituality had been removed. According to my research on the Internet, however, carols originated in paganism. The research added a downer shot: Stonehenge in the snow. Carols as hymns of faith seemed to have been overlooked.
Those in the lineup ahead of me seemed to fit the requisite self-absorption, looking inward at lists of things undone. Up at the front, an immigrant family argued in broken English, while a bored clerk repeated, "Your parcel is too big. We can't handle it." Finally, a father and two sons lugged their oversized gift to one side, unwrapped it, and bent over the contents to see if anything could be left behind: neatly folded baby clothes, candy, toys, and decorations.
"Make it into smaller packages," called over one of the men watching from our lineup. Not understanding, the mother and father looked up blankly. A woman behind me promptly began to interpret in Spanish. Before they could reply, a second woman went to purchase wrapping paper and tape. Someone found a marking pen. People left their coveted places in line to help. In short order, the contents of their parcel emerged as four packages, neatly wrapped and addressed. Then the lineup parted to allow the family access back to the counter, where a grinning clerk gave everyone a thumbs up. This was one of many little acts of love that began to walk me back to faith.
I no longer heard the jokey loop of tunes about a man in a size 3x red suit, once a saint rather than a marketing opportunity. My heart began to fill with the invitation from an old hymn, for someone lost like me to return again to Bethlehem where a Man was being born whose love would change the world. How did I find the way back to faith when doubting would have been easier? It was love in the many small miracles like the one that I'd just seen happen.
Why is showing love important for all of us to do? Because someone like I was then, far away from hope, is out there, watching.
John 13:34-35 – I give you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, so you also must love each other. This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples, when you love each other. (CEB)
Prayer: Dear Father God, forgive our wandering and going astray. Thank You for everlasting love, grace, and mercy, that we may return to faith, and through repentance, be restored to fellowship and Your everlasting love. Amen.