The Love That Comes Down at Christmas
Christmas is less than a week away! I can’t hardly wait! It seems like we have been preparing for this day for so long…. As a church we have been preparing for Christmas for four weeks! During this time we have decorated the church, had a soup supper, sang carols, had a Grinch party and watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and we even had a gift exchange! The church has been busy preparing for the birth of Jesus not only for itself, but it has been helping others prepare for Jesus as well.
Besides all of those things, do know what else the church has been doing to prepare for the coming of Jesus? It involves a wreath and five candles. Does anyone know what I am talking about? That’s right! We have been lighting Advent Candles. Now do you remember what the candles stand for? Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. That’s correct! sounds like you have been paying attention!
The first candle we lit was the HOPE candle. This candle reminds us that as we wait for Jesus to come down to earth, we are to have hope that he will come and save us all from the bad things we have done. Not only that, but we hope that Jesus will accept us for who we are. The second candle we lit was the PEACE candle. This candle reminds us that with everything going on–the running around, the hanging out with friends, the travelling from family gathering to family gathering–we are to stop, breathe, and clear our mind, spirit, and heart so that Jesus has a place in our life. If you are always busy, then when will you take time for Jesus. The third candle we lit was the JOY candle. This candle reminds us to be happy and to rejoice always! Even when we are sad, we are to have joy; even when we are mad, we are to have joy; even when we get in trouble, we are to have joy; and even when we have to do something that we don’t want to do, we are to have joy because Jesus is the giver of joy. Without joy we wouldn’t be able to fully know Jesus. And today, we light the fourth candle. This candle is the LOVE candle.
When it comes to love, everybody defines it differently. Also, everybody experiences and receives love differently. But God’s love is the same love for you and you and you and for all of us. The love that God gives us is a gift that lives eternally in our heart; and it will be there yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Paul writes to his friends in Corinth about love because they needed some help understanding what God’s love is. Paul writes, “Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends…” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
The love that my friend Paul writes about is a love that can only come from God. But you know what? God wants to share this love with you. When we light the fourth candle, we are letting God know that we need his love in our life. We need His Son, Jesus, in our heart today! And when we receive His love, it will never fade away because His love never ends. So the love that comes down at Christmas and will lay in a manger wrapped in cloths will be the love that fills our hearts for eternity. Do you want to have God’s love in your heart? I hope so, because I certainly do!
Your Friend, Holy Spirit!
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