While walking one morning before starting my remote workday, I noticed a sign on one of the neighbor’s lawns. It reads You Are Loved, written in vibrant colors. Just the three words You Are Loved. A matter of fact, all-inclusive statement. Next to the sign sits a life-sized inflatable snowman, arms spread wide as if ready to hug anyone coming for a visit. I have no idea who lives in the house but their simple message warmed my heart.
Collectively, we have been through a lot this year. We are all doing the best we can to navigate the murky waters of a worldwide pandemic, not to mention a divisive presidential election and civil unrest throughout the nation. Not too many of us feel “Christmas-y” this year. And then I saw the sign You Are Loved sitting next to the snowman.
We are all loved, every one of us. There may be strife among family members, differences of opinion between friends that brought division, divorce, illness, or death that took loved ones away, and still, we are loved. God loves us with an all-inclusive love. God isn’t affiliated with a specific church or religion. God is love.
Followers of Yeshua (Jesus), believe Christmas is about the birth of a child sent by God to restore the severed relationship between God and mankind. It doesn’t matter if we believe Yeshua was born of a virgin, laid in a manager, and Three Wise Men brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. History verifies Yeshua’s existence, and for what it’s worth, Yeshua was the only human to split time. Whether Yeshua was God incarnate or not is up to each one of us to decide.
Yeshua didn’t come to start a church. He didn’t come to judge. He came to bring reconciliation. Yeshua loved with an all-inclusive love. He died, arms spread wide, offering as many as would accept the reconciliation that defined His existence.
This year, more than any other year, we need to know we are loved. We need a hug from the life-sized inflatable snowman. We need to be reconciled as families, friends, a nation, and as a world. Many who usually congregate for candlelight services on Christmas Eve won’t be doing that this year, but that doesn’t mean we cannot light a candle. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone everywhere lit a candle on Christmas Eve to illuminate a dark world with the message You Are Loved…..