Advent: Love

//Advent: Love

Advent: Love

Advent Love

Advent is a time of preparation and expectant waiting for the promised Savior. Each Sunday of Advent focuses on a particular theme.

On the last Sunday of Advent, churches will light a fourth candle as a symbol of Advent love. Believers will reflect on scriptures from the Old and New Testaments about God’s love for us. God’s love undergirds the whole story of the Bible: creation, fall, redemption, and the ongoing process of restoration.

God’s Love from the Beginning

It might seem a little odd to begin our reflection on Advent love all the way back in Genesis 1, but we need to remember that God’s loving plan for us started with his very first act of creation. Out of nothing, God called forth light. He separated land from the sea, created the sun, moon, and stars, and all the creatures of earth, but the the pinnacle of his creation was humanity.  He created us in his own image and made us to love and be loved (Genesis 1:26-30). However, the first humans doubted the truth of God’s love for them and rebelled. But even in humanity’s fall into sin, we find God’s loving mercy. God did not destroy Eve and Adam, and even as they began to experience the serious consequences of their sin, God made his first promise of future redemption: that Eve’s own offspring would one day crush the head of the serpent once and for all time (Genesis 3:15).

God’s Loving Promise

As we trace the story of God’s people through the Old Testament, we see God’s loving plan unfold. God promised Abraham that he would make his descendants a people who would bless all  people. God foretold of the One, born of a virgin, who would free the captives, bear our transgressions, suffer in our place, redeem God’s people, and usher in a peace unlike anything ever known. Isaiah prophesied the words of the Lord, “‘For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,’” (Isaiah 54:10).

Love with Us

Revisiting the big picture of God’s love for his people during Advent helps us understand the significance of that very first advent, the coming of a Savior. For this precise reason, Matthew starts his gospel with Jesus’ genealogy, tracing his lineage back through King David to Abraham. Matthew wants us to understand that this major event is connected to God’s bigger story of love and  redemption. Love, incarnated in the form of a tiny baby, came to fulfill a promise God made centuries before. Paul explains, “he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness” (Philippians 2:7).  And he did it because “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). This is Advent love, “not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10). (Article attributed to author Robin Basselin)

By | 2023-12-23T12:37:28-07:00 December 23rd, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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