LOVE, JOY, PEACE, BELIEVE: In big red letters each word was printed on a different cushion on the four armchairs in the lobby of the Four Points Hotel in Kelowna, BC
That these were chosen for the cushions is remarkable! Why these words? These values have become so pervasive that it is easy to miss the unique source of the life themes of love, joy, peace, believe. Why should LOVE, JOY, PEACE and BELIEVE be such powerful emotive words? In truth, these ideas flow directly out of the core teachings of Jesus! For 2000 years the message of Jesus has shaped the course of human history and continues to do so. Intuitively we know that these are the kinds of qualities that make life worth living. When people understand their Source, they begin to follow Jesus. At this moment, two new people every second are embracing the Way of Jesus! This is no accident. These themes resonate with the longing of each human heart, and they become richer and deeper as we reconnect them to the life and teaching of Jesus.
Here is how Jesus teaches us about LOVE:
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. (1 John 3:16)
– He died for me!
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” (Luke 2:10)
– For two thousand years and counting, a message of joy for the entire world!
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)
– These were the words of comfort to His disciples just a few short hours before His own crucifixion! He is the source of peace!
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)
It matters WHAT and WHO you believe. Jesus invites us to believe in Him and He promises LIFE! What better thing than to believe – to have confidence in, to trust – the Son of God, who is the Author of Love, Joy and Peace!
We can hang apples in the branches of a thorn tree, but it is not the thorn tree that gives life to the apples. We can (and do) hang the virtues of love and joy and peace in the barren ideologies of our own making. How much better to be grafted into the living tree of His love, His Joy, and His Peace. And to have the endless stream of life flowing in us and through us.
Charles Wesley, the great hymn writer wrote: ‘Come, thou long expected Jesus, born to set thy people free… hope of all the earth… joy of every longing heart.’ May this Christmas be a season of trusting His promises and to drawing near to Him.
On behalf of the HMC team
A Merry Christmas and A Blessed New Year.