The final Sunday of Advent is on the horizon. The Advent wreath soon will burn brightly, ablaze with four candles signifying our hope, peace, joy, and love, all embodied in the one who first came among us as a babe in a manger and will soon return as King of kings. The fourth candle signifies love, calling attention to one of the most well-known of all verses from our Scriptures:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. [John 3.16]
As we prepare to worship on this fourth and final Sunday of Advent, let the words from Paul Sheneman’s Illuminate: An Advent Experience provide some thoughts to reflect and meditate upon in the days ahead.
God’s love for us began before we were ever created. In the midst of God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—love is eternal and infinite. All things were created out of God’s love. So God called all creation good.
Humans marred the goodness of creation by rejecting God. Our angry “No!” to God didn’t sidetrack his plan. In love, God came into this world and pursued us to the point of death, even death on a cross. It is the love of God that illuminates our world in Christ Jesus, our Lord, and fills us with the responsibility to love our neighbor as ourselves.
We are now entering a time of remembrance and preparation. As we prepare to remember the first coming of Jesus, God’s chosen one, we retell the story of God’s good news of love to the world. And as we prepare by remembering what Jesus taught about his return, we are moved to go out into the world to witness to our neighbors and family about the Light of the World.