The last of the four Advent themes is love. If we were detectives, we might say, “Now we’ve found the motive!”
The motive, that is, for everything God does. The principle is laid out for us in 1 John 4:7-11:
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
Why would God unilaterally decide to come among us and save us from our sins, suffering as Christ to give us hope, peace and joy? It was an act of undeserved, unreserved love. Love exists because God exists, and love is integral to God’s being, God’s nature.
The circumstances could be different. We’ve imagined gods completely lacking in love, disinterested, dismissive or even hostile toward human beings. But the One True God is driven by love.
Even when God chastises us, it is a loving act, one designed to bring us into alignment with our creator. When we walk with God, we walk toward life. When we walk away from God, we walk toward death.
God loves us so much he wants to dwell among us. God did this in flesh, as Jesus Christ, carrying out the work necessary to save us from our sins. He resides in us and among us now, as the Holy Spirit. And he will dwell among us in full.
I think I’m about ready to celebrate the incarnation—Christmas!
Lord, sometimes we simply need to stop and give thanks for who you are. We are blessed to be the creation of a loving being, one who looks out for us eternally. Thank you for the love shown to us on the cross. Amen.