Bible Sharing Love this Advent

Sharing Love this Advent

This Sunday is the big one – not only is it the fourth Sunday of Advent (the theme of which is love) – but it’s also Christmas Eve!!! We’ll be doing two services this Sunday – one at 9:30AM, and one at 5PM. Each will be completely different services, different messages, and so on. We’ll have full childcare and classes at the 9:30AM service, but at the 5PM service, we will just be offering childcare up to 5 years old.

We’d love for you to be there at either – or both – services…and by all means, bring along someone new! They’ll be great services to invite people to.

But before we get there – a word on love (the advent theme for the week). In our bible studies, we watched the fourth and final Bible Project Advent word study on Agape / Love – and had fascinating conversations about the meaning of love, what it costs to love difficult people, and more…there is so much to say about love, about God’s love, and everything in between.
But what’s interesting about “love” is that the word is absent from the biblical Christmas stories.  Hope, peace, and joy are all over the stories from Matthew and Luke (we’ve already lit those candles), but no love. Why does ‘love’ get a candle when it’s not even mentioned?

Why is ‘love’ missing?
Because it’s everywhere.

It doesn’t need to be mentioned explicitly, because it’s so obviously everywhere in what God does at Christmas.
God looks at the lowly state of Mary, and lifts her up. She, without dignity, is filled with divinity in her womb.  That’s love.
Elizabeth, with a womb as good as dead (like her ancestor Sarah), is given new life inside of her – saving her from a life of sadness and disappointment. That’s love.
Zechariah, a man struggling for and seeking mercy all of his life, finally finds it. That is love.
Israel – God’s people, suffering, threatened, forgotten about, are finally remembered in his mercy. That’s love.
Jesus, being born in human flesh as a baby boy in a manger, for us.  That’s love.
God becoming one of us, to save us. That is love.

The reason the word ‘love’ is missing is because Jesus simply IS God’s love in person, and everything that God does at Christmas is one multifaceted expression of it.

One other quick thought though: if John wrote a Christmas narrative, knowing John’s love for love, he couldn’t contain himself. As the pinnacle of his Christmas narrative, he’d probably write something like this:

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

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