This is the fourth and last week of Advent. This Sunday will be Christmas Day and I hope you choose to attend a worship service as a part of your Christmas Day celebrations. Remember: Jesus is the Reason for the Season.
In this last Advent week, we celebrate the theme of Love. One of the Christmas carols we sing this time of year is: “Love Came Down at Christmas.” Which is precisely what happened. God, in God’s infinite love and mercy of all people, sent God’s son to be born into this world. And Jesus came to earth. Not as a warrior king but as a tiny baby completely dependent on his mother Mary and his earthly father Joseph for all his needs. God loved us so much, God wanted to be with us and so God sent God’s son. But a baby was not what we expected!!!
And yet, while a baby was not what we expected, a baby was just what we needed. God in human form who would grow up and experience everything a human could experience. When we worship God, we worship a God who understands because God has been through it right there with us. God experienced love, hurt, compassion, rejection, beauty, pain, and everything else. When we take our deepest prayers to God, we take them to God who gets it…because God gets us. And so, we can sing the carol…Love came down at Christmas, love all lovely, love divine. Love was born at Christmas, star and angel gave the sign. Singing and offering our worship fills the story of Jesus’ birth.
The angels sang “Joy to the World” as they told the shepherds the good news, that Jesus Christ, the Messiah was born. They shared with these men on the lowest rung of societies ladder, where they would find the baby and the sign they found him, would be that he was wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger in the “Little Town of Bethlehem.” Glory to God on High!
The star shown bright and wise men knew that something miraculous had happened. These “Three Kings,” loaded up the camels and traveled many miles to seek out the baby they knew was born “Away in a Manger,” and found him as a toddler with his parents where they presented him with presents of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Gifts that represent his role as king, priest, and prophet.
We sing because mere words do not convey the depth of our love for God who loved us. We are loved. We are loved in the midst of our sorrow. We are loved in the midst of our pain. We are loved in the midst of our joy. We are loved when we feel unlovable. We are loved for who we are just as God created us. We are loved.
I can’t say this enough: God loves you, and me, and well…everyone. We are loved. Hallelujah! Amen!