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Bound Together by Love

December 26, 2015

Bound Together by Love

Preparing for Worship: The scripture readings for the first Sunday after Christmas are Psalm 111:9; Exodus 13:1-3a, 11-15; Colossians 3: 12-17; Luke 2:22-40.

“Put on . . . compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other . . . And above all these, put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony . . . Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly . . . ” Colossians 3:12-16a.

The mission statement of Palisades Lutheran Church is “Connecting our neighbors with the rich life in Christ.” The epistle lesson explains how we accomplish this goal—by letting the scripture sink into our souls, so that we reflect Christ’s compassion, kindness, humility, patience and forgiving spirit–tying it together with love.

God’s Word is our primer: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly . . .” (Col. 3:16 a). Scripture is an inexhaustible mine of rich ores and precious gems. God’s creative and regenerating power is unleashed and reflected in your actions, when you meditate on scripture, and let His inspired words sink into the depths of your soul.

Reflecting God’s light requires a heart full of love. Love ties the virtues together and keeps them in place. “And above all these, put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. “ Love is the key: “If I have not love, I am nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:3).

This week, when I pulled a quilted Christmas hot pad from a kitchen drawer, I noticed that the fabric on one of the edges had begun to fray and tear. The hot pad was a handmade gift from my mother over twenty Christmases ago. Mom didn’t sew much, and she hadn’t sewn a separate strip of binding to secure the edges of the hot pad. I made a mental note to bind the edges soon, to prevent them from tearing apart further. Left unbound, the hot pad will eventually tear apart, and be useless. Likewise, virtuous actions emanating from a cold and empty heart will be fragmented and transitory, and reflected by a dour or sarcastic countenance. Such actions will have a fleeting impact. However, actions bound together by a full and loving heart, will have a lasting impact on all touched by those actions. The reason is simple: we are drawn to people who work with love in their hearts. We seek such people out; their helpful and cheerful countenances are a delight to be around.

The waiting is over; Jesus is here. The Christ child in the manger fills the empty void in our hearts. Look into the eyes of Jesus; see His love reflecting back at you. Embrace the babe and hold Him close. Let His love permeate your soul. His love will bind together all of your actions to keep you from fraying and falling apart.


Diane Cieslikowski Reagan

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