1 John 4:9-12 – This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. (NIV)
During the Advent season, as we journey towards the manger, and as we light the fourth candle on our Advent wreath, let us journey with love.
We're getting closer, aren't we? Christmas is not far away now. If you have been observing some of the Advent traditions, like we have in our home, you will be lighting the fourth candle on your Advent wreath today and as you take another link off your Advent chain, you will realize that there are only six more days until we celebrate the birth of our Saviour.
Six more days! That can be exciting but it can also bring about more stress. The choice is ours! We get to choose to focus on the gift of God's Son over the next week — or we can become panic-stricken over all the things that we still need to do.
In John's letter, he reminds us about God's amazing gift of love to each of us, and how God has shown us how to love. He has given us an amazing example. We are able to love because he first loved us. What a Christmas present to each of us!
Since God loved us and he has shown us what love is, we ought to love others. Wow! No-one said it would be easy, but, if we love God, His love will be seen through us. Now that's an amazing thought in itself, isn't it?
I remember talking to a friend who was relaying to me something her neighbour had said to her: "I want what you have!". Her neighbour was referring to her faith, God's love that she had seen in my friend's life. What a testimony of God working from within! We don't need a fancy sales pitch to attract people to our churches. What we do need is more of us living what we believe. We need to be more open to sharing God's love every day by what we do and say.
Come to the manger! Come and see … with hope, with peace, with joy and with love!
Prayer: Loving God, we thank you for your amazing gift of love. We thank you that we can love because you first loved us. Help us to love, Lord. Help us, Lord, to focus on you this week as we continue our journey towards the manger. Amen.