The dominant message throughout John’s letters to the early Church is to show our love through Christ to others. It’s pretty basic. Nothing fancy. John particularly gives kudos to Gaius for showing love to strangers.
I cannot imagine how difficult life must have been for those early Christians, particularly compared to our 21st century lives in which we have all of the creature comforts one can imagine pretty much at our finger tips. Even with all that our culture is not known for its love of strangers. It must have been very hard to take care of oneself, let along worry about others. So it must have been a very big deal to be kind to strangers.
This brings my mind back to the Christmas season that we are in. I know that during Christmas, I try extra hard to be friendly and loving to everyone. It’s just something I think about during Christmas. I guess it’s because I’m reminded through the music, the stories and the readings of the season about the true gift of Christmas being God’s love for us by bringing Jesus into our world. But, why do I think that’s the only time of year that I should make kindness and love a priority?
One of the Christmas movies I like is “A Christmas Carol”. (My favorite version is the Muppet one.) One of the lessons that Ebenezer Scrooge learns during his visits by the ghosts is to keep Christmas in his heart all year. So, my prayer for Christmas is that I will work on being like the reconstituted Ebenezer Scrooge and carry Christmas and love for others in my heart the whole year through.