This week we continue the season of Advent, which is the Christian season of preparation for Christmas. Our theme this year is “Hope of the Nations,” and we are thinking on the world-wide hope found in Jesus Christ. We’re meditating on the ideas of light, life, liberty, love, and Lord.
Our focus this week is on love. We read in Ephesians 2:1-7:
1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,
2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.
3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
This week we light the CANDLE OF LOVE. It’s clear from Scripture that we are unlovely. We’re by nature and by action death-ridden rebels chasing our worldly appetites around. We’re wretches deserving of wrath, but something greater than our wretchedness forestalls God’s wrath, namely God’s love. We’re unlovely, but God is love, and He has set His affection on us!
It’s love that saw our death and depravity and worked to make us alive and righteous. It’s love that pursued rebel hearts and won them to adoration and obedience. It’s love that changes our destination from the pits of hell to the very thrown room of God where Jesus sits at the Father’s right hand. God’s love for humanity is a powerful force!
It was love that caused the Father to give the Son to the world, and it was love that motivated the Son to voluntarily take on flesh and dwell among us until His death, resurrection, and ascension. The cross is a sure sign of God’s love, but so is the manger. This Christmas season, may you marvel at the depth and intensity of God’s love!
The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell
It goes beyond the highest star
And reaches to the lowest hell
O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song