The Candle of Love
The first candle of advent focused on hope—the second on love. Similar between the two candles is a misunderstanding. For hope, the very idea of assurance has been stripped away. A word meant to express security has become understood as anything but. Similarly, love—the rich, biblical meaning—suffers a sickly blow in the modern perception of the word. Love has been stripped of loyalty, commitment, and perseverance, and has been reduced to an inexplicable feeling that comes and goes as whimsically as a sunny afternoon in Western PA.
The love of God on display with the birth of Jesus Christ is far from the modern anemic concept of love. In 1 John 4:7-19, John provides a glimpse into the depth of God’s love. His love seeks the best of the one loved. Jesus was sent from the Father in an act of love, culminating in Christ becoming the propitiation of our sins (v. 10). God rightfully could have left the world to suffer the result of its fallen condition, but He did not. He loved His people. He, in commitment to His people, sent His son to be born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
During this Christmas season, when you put out your nativity scene, draw your thoughts to the love of God. That little baby—Jesus in the manger—represents a bundle of love from the Father to His people.