Advent Part 4

Here we are, the climax of the Christmas season. Tomorrow is the day we recognize Christ’s coming to earth to save us from our sins. We are also here at the last installment of our advent blog series.

If you remember advent simply means “a coming into place”. In Christendom there are typically 4 weeks of advent that look at 4 different messages, or meanings of Christmas. The first week of advent is about Hope. It is the expected Hope that was promised to Old Testament Saints, realized in Christ’s birth, and ultimately the Hope of Heaven we now eagerly wait for. The second week we looked at Peace. The fact that we need peace because sin has destroyed peace, through Christ’s sacrifice we can have Peace with God again, and it is only through Jesus that this peace can be achieved because His very name is Peace. The third thing we looked at is Joy. When Christ was born there was great rejoicing because the Messiah had come. This Messiah would bring salvation and a joy that goes beyond anything else we could experience.

This final week we look at what I feel is really the heart of Christmas, love. This installment will be a little shorter than the past three. The reason behind this is so it shouldn’t take as long to read since I’m sure everyone is busy these next few days.

That being said, please take some time and look up each passage and read it with the family or some friends to discuss, or just meditate on them yourself throughout your day and week.

1-Love came down

Of all the verses in the Bible perhaps the best-known verse explains what Christmas is all about. Everyone knows John 3:16, that God loved the world so much He sent His only Son so whoever believes would be saved. See, that verse is about Christmas, the weight of God’s love for us caused Him to come for us. The first Christmas when Christ was born was all because of love. In Luke 2:10-11 the angels announce to the shepherds that the one born that first Christmas was the Savior. Christmas is about God showing us the extent of His love by sending a Savior. When Christ came down, love came down.

2-Love manifested

The significance of that love is seen in Philippians 2:5-8. These verses tell us Christ is God (if Christ is equal with God either there are multiple gods or He is God, if you want more info on this topic please contact the church) and He still humbled Himself to come and die. See, Jesus didn’t come as a king, or to lead an army, He came to die. In 1 John 4:9 it says that God’s love manifest in Jesus coming to earth because He came to die so we could live. God’s love was demonstrated to us when Christ came to die for us even though we were sinners and didn’t deserve it. God loved us enough to come and die to be our Savior.

3-Love exemplified

In this magnificent act of love we see an example of how we should in turn love those around us. In John 13:34 Jesus says that we should love each other in the same way that He loved us. Jesus also says in John 15:13 that the greatest love one could have is to lay down their life for their friends. If we want to love like Jesus it takes more than just following someone on Instagram or liking their Facebook posts. It takes sacrificial love. That was the love that came down and was manifested for us. If we want to show others our love for Christ, we should follow His example of love and humbly, sacrificially love others. Not just the people who are easy to love either. We should humbly love everyone, even that annoying co-worker who eats your food out of the breakroom fridge, and that annoying relative who you know is going to talk non-stop about politics all through Christmas dinner. If we are following Christ’s example of love, we will humbly and sacrificially love those people too.

4-Love applied

Christmas should first remind us of the magnitude of God’s love for us. As we remember that great love we should be motivated to follow His example and love the people around us.

Christmas is a time to reflect and remember our HOPE of salvation in Christ, the PEACE He came to bring between God and us, the JOY we can experience because the Messiah has come, and ultimately the LOVE our great God has shown by coming to the earth He created to die for sinners like you and like me.