CREDIT: Brigitte Tohm on Unsplash
Dear Friends and Family,
“Love” is – growing up I remember these cartoons with a man and woman and a statement about love. “Love is …” was followed by description of an act of love – often describing one of love’s chief virtues, self-sacrifice for the benefit of another. This is “αγαπη (agape)” love, the most frequent kind of love found in the Bible.
On the fourth Sunday in Advent, we light the final candle on our Advent Wreath. The Love Candle completes the ring of light as we wait for Christmas Day, when we celebrate Jesus’ birth. His birth was the fulfillment of God’s promise to bring salvation to His creation. Psalm 89 sings out, “I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever.” (Psalm 89:1) And God promises to deliver this love by sending His Son as the fulfillment of a promise He made to His servant, King David as David continued his reign on Israel’s throne. “I have made a covenant with my chosen one; I have sworn to David my servant: I will establish your offspring forever, and build your throne for all generations.” (Psalm 89:3-4)
A thousand years later, God delivered His promise into the world through Mary and the Holy Spirit. The angel Gabriel tells Mary, “You will … bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus … He will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His father David … and His kingdom will have no end.” (Luke 1:31-33) With this act of true love, God brought the means for all mankind to receive forgiveness of sin and eternal life through faith in Jesus.
True “agape love” is more than a “nice feeling.” It is the sacrificial love for another which requires no payment in advance to receive. At Christmas, we celebrate this love from our Father through His Son, Jesus Christ. We wait for His return to bring us into true love’s light before His eternal throne in the kingdom of heaven.
Waiting in Christ’s Love,