Tis the second week of Advent, and we look at Love. One hymn keeps coming to mind, and I just can't shake it:
Love came down at Christmas, Love all lovely, Love divine; Love was born at Christmas; star and angels gave the sign.
Worship we the Godhead, Love incarnate, Love divine; worship we our Jesus, but wherewith for sacred sign?
As a former seminarian, I say this hymn is packed full of good theology. As a pastor, I say this hymn brings us immense comfort.
God's very nature and character is love. The notion of the Triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) is a relationship and dance filled with love. God loves all of us, each and every one of us, without exception. You will often hear me ask the children to say "God loves me," first because God does and second because all other Christian beliefs stem from this foundation. If you get that God loves you, you can get the rest of it.
"Dear friends, let's love each other, because love is from God, and everyone who loves is born from God and knows God. The person who doesn't love does not know God, because God is love. This is how the love of God is revealed in us: God has sent his only Son into the world so that we can live through him." I John 4:7-9
Jesus was sent for no other reason than God loves us so much. God loves YOU so much.
If the very nature of God is love, and if Jesus is the self-revelation of God, and if Jesus is fully divine, then Jesus is nothing less the pure embodiment of Love. Love did indeed come down at Christmas, a divine Love from God for each and every one of us, for YOU.
But, what are we to do with this love of God? I John tells us two things. First, we can live through Jesus Christ. Salvation comes to us through Jesus Christ. We rest in that assurance. But, also, we live through Christ daily. We feel his presence and sense his guidance.
The second is tied to the first - we love each other. Because God loves us, we ought to love each other. Because we live with Christ, we ought to love each other. By loving each other, we become a witness to the love of God for all.
Love came down at Christmas. Love comes down every day that I live with Christ in my heart. Love comes down to others every day that I love them. May we be vehicles and instruments of God's love to the world.
God of Love, thank you for loving me so much. Thank you for the gift of love in Christ. May I be Your Love to someone else this day and this season. Amen.