The theme of the fourth week of Advent is love. When we light the fourth candle on the Advent wreath we are reminded that Love Incarnate came for us.
The Apostle John reminds us that, “This is love: not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10). In a world that’s gone harsh and cynical, we need the reminder that God is love and He calls us to be love incarnate to the world around us.
As we enter this last week leading into Christmas, focus on the love of Christ. In the words of author Susie Larson, “Love motivated His every step” (1). Each person, whether saint or sinner, who spent time with Jesus encountered His love. Every thought, motive, and message came from His heart of love for humanity.
Friend, you will never experience another love that is as complete as His. Relish His love. Nothing you do can change or add to His love for you. We could stop there, and you could just delight in that all week. However, there is a responsibility with receiving that type of love.
You now are love incarnate to the world around you.
As you go through this week leading up to Christmas, I’d like to suggest that every day you ask yourself these 5 questions:
- Who in my life today needs a fresh encounter with Christ’s love?
- How can I be a catalyst to help others experience the love of Christ?
- How can I best exemplify the love of Christ to my family, friends, and neighbors in a practical way this Christmas?
- Who are the “hard to love” people in my world who I need to see differently?
- Then, before you lay your head down to go to sleep at the end of each day, ask yourself, “Who did I love well today?”
Maybe for you, love will look like laying down your “right” to voice your opinion this Christmas. Maybe love will look like shoveling your neighbor’s walk or visiting a nursing home. Maybe it will look like creating a gift basket for a shut-in, or bringing treats to a children’s hospital near you. The ideas are endless. They just take thought, intentionality, and follow through. But I know that God wants others to feel loved through you. So take the time and think of practical ways to express His love.
Listen to Lauren Daigle’s song, “Noel.” Celebrate that Christ is love incarnate, but so are you!
This week on the Connected Mom Podcast we’re talking about connecting with God in practical ways. I hope you’ll listen and share the episode with a friend!
(1) Susie Larson, Prepare Him Room, (Minneapolis, Minnesota,: Bethany House, 2021), 128