Because of family obligations today, I wasn’t able to attend church this morning. Nothing really new there. We (as a couple at least) have missed probably more than half the services since Joss was born. That’s neither atypical nor criminal. But today was the last Sunday of Advent, the Sundays leading up to our celebration of the birth of our Savior and Lord, and I love sermons on the incarnation. I would have especially appreciated something from that lineage today, and more so because we are a part of a new church that tries to bridge the gap between the more ancient and modern worlds of the Body of Christ.
In any case though, the Advent Prayer for the week:
Today we relight the first three candles of the Advent Wreath — the candles of HOPE, PEACE and JOY.
Now we light the fourth candle of Advent. This is the candle of LOVE.
Jesus demonstrated self-giving love in his ministry as the Good Shepherd. Advent is a time for kindness, thinking of others, and sharing with others. It is a time to love as God loved us by giving us his most precious gift. As God is love, let us be love also.
In the Book of Deuteronomy we find these words:
“For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who is not partial and takes no bribe, who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.
— Deuteronomy 10:17-19a
From the Gospel of John we hear:
“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
— John 13:34-35
Let us pray:
Teach us to love, O Lord. May we always remember to put you first as we follow Christ’s footsteps, that we may know your love and show it in our lives. As we prepare for our celebration of Jesus’ birth, also fill our hearts with love for the world, that all may know your love and the one whom you have sent, your son, our Savior. Amen.
h/t to Scot McKnight, who I just completely stole this post from.