Advent week 2: Love
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
Love hurts sometimes. You see love stories in books and movies. Itís not a good plot unless the lovers have to go through some anguish. Of course itís not so fun in real life. You have feelings for someone who doesnít accept you. Or you love someone who is making bad decisions or someone who is suffering, and there is nothing you can do to help. Heartache is a hazard of love, and yet we love anyway. God made us to be like him.
Garfield once said, the heart of Christmas isnít the giving; it isnít the getting; itís the loving. The cat speaks better than he knows. In the light of Christmas, Godís love is stunning. He sends his only Son as a helpless, vulnerable infant into our world of suffering; he grows up and lives the life of a servant, pouring himself out into the lives of others; and finally he willingly gives himself up to be beaten and killed. All this so that God can be reconciled to people who have rejected him, gone our own way, and gotten ourselves terribly lost. Loving people like us is costly, but the cost shows how deep his love goes.
Maybe there is someone you need to be reconciled to this Christmas. Maybe your heart aches for someone you love.
This season, find strength in the love of God that bears the cost for us and empowers us to extend that love to others.