“For God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son. That whoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.”
“Love is the key element and ingredient for our advent journey and for the rest of our lives. It is the love of God that manifests itself in the birth of Jesus Christ, who came to save the world, not to condemn it. Love enables ordinary people like you and me to do extraordinary things. Love shows us how to give and to receive, to forgive and be forgiven, and ultimately, to die in order that we might have life.” ~Ron Glusenkamp.
So it’s simple to see that, Love is not just a feeling, it is a verb. It is action! Love changes our lives dramatically! A manifestation of love is Compassion. I can relate to the way that Karen Armstrong defines it: “Compassion is having a feeling in one’s gut that things are not okay and then doing something about it.”
Advent is a time when we can do a checkup on our hearts, and work on softening our hearts to care for those around us.
The words of the Kyle Matthews song, The Gifts We Give, draw us once again to the place where God’s love and compassion wants us to be.
May the gifts we give this Christmas
Meet the needs that go unmet
May they heal the hurt between us,
May that say what’s gone unsaid,
May we find at last in Jesus the gift that we have sought.
Let the love we show each other
Be the gift we give to God.
So just like Jacob Marley said to Ebenezer Scrooge, “The welfare of the world should be the business of us all.” May our lives be forever changed with the saturation of God’s love and compassion. May the world be changed because we are!
Thank you, God, for the greatest gift of all – Your love in the shape of a child. Help us receive the love of Advent with open hands and hearts. And after receiving it, may we share it liberally through our words and actions. Amen.
Johns Creek Baptist Church