Advent Week Four: Love (on Sunday, December 20, 2020)

From Slaves to Sons (adapted from the Salvation Army in Canada’s Christmas resources)

Have you ever wondered why Jesus came to the world as a baby? Wouldn’t his arrival as a King or some other kind of VIP have made a grander statement? Yet, somehow, the baby Jesus draws us, doesn’t he? His very innocence compels us to come close and admire his newness, and marvel with those who were there that such a tiny child fulfilled so many years of waiting for the promise of the Messiah.

Galatians 4:4‐7 says, “But when the time was right, God sent his Son, and a woman gave birth to him. His Son obeyed the Law, so he could set us free from the Law, and we could become God’s children. Now that we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts. And his Spirit tells us that God is our Father. You are no longer slaves. You are God’s children, and you will be given what he has promised.” But what has he promised? The prophet Isaiah foretold a time when “there won’t be any more sadness for those who were suffering… [when] the people who are now living in darkness will see a great light. They are now living in a very dark land but a light will shine on them….Lord….You will increase their joy. They will show you how glad they are. They will be as glad as people are at harvest time.” (Isaiah 9:1‐3, NIRV)

Isaiah spoke of a time that would be ushered in when the Son of God, Jesus Christ, would live on earth and begin to radically change people’s lives for good. During this last week of Advent, just a few days before we celebrate Christ’s birth, let’s be mindful of all the reasons there are to be hopeful because of the baby Jesus, the one John describes as “….the Word became human and lived here on earth among us…full of unfailing love and faithfulness.” (John 1:14) It may be that the message of Christmas, the message of hope, is needed far more than ever this year. Jesus’ birth shows us God’s deep and abiding love for us. God gave his love through Jesus so that the whole world could have hope. Is there a way you can be a beacon of that hope this year? As a child of God, given what He has promised, be filled with joy!