Advent: Day 22 – Fourth Sunday

* This post is part of an Advent devotional being posted daily during Advent 2014. For an intro to this series of posts, please read the initial post here

Fourth Sunday of Advent: 21 December – God’s Lavish Love      

Our Context   

All we need is love…or so the song goes. Yet, we seem perpetually incapable of love. Our self-interests, our self-doubts, our self-actualizations – all our preoccupations with our own way of life keep getting in the way of love. Our motivations – whether comfortable homes and clothing, freedom and security, access to food, education, and healthcare, entertainment – all come at the cost of others, many of whom we will never see and whose names we will never know. How can we even begin to love God, if we don’t know how to love each other? Or ourselves? Where is the love that will light our way?

Pause for a time of silent prayer. 

God’s Response: Luke 1:67-80

Candle Lighting        

(light four candles). We light these candles to remember that Jesus Christ is the light of the world. In his light, we receive the lavish love of God’s faithfulness. For God remembers the covenant promises made to Abraham and to David and extends mercy. In Jesus Christ, God so loved the world, sending him not to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. For the forgiveness of our sins, through which we are released from the grip of our real enemies – those preoccupations and motivations that keep us from receiving God’s love and from loving each other. Even now, the Spirit is at work multiplying the love of Jesus Christ through those who seek to live as his disciples. For in this expanding love, we like John the Baptist before us, are intended to prepare the way for Jesus’ arrival – with “the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of our sins, because of the tender mercy of our God.” And soon, Jesus Christ will return, lavishing the fullness of God’s love upon us, as God welcomes us home, not as guests or servants, but as children of God. See the light of Jesus Christ is coming!

Closing Prayer

Come quickly, Lord Jesus, that the light of your life may make known your lavish love to all you have made! Amen.

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