The Fourth Week of Advent: LOVE
On the fourth Sunday of Advent at Redemption Church we lit the candle of LOVE, and we read Isaiah 40:1-11 (ESV):
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her
that her warfare is ended,
that her iniquity is pardoned,
that she has received from the LORD’s hand
double for all her sins.
A voice cries:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together,
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
A voice says, “Cry!”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All flesh is grass,
and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades
when the breath of the LORD blows on it;
surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever.
Go on up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good news;
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good news;
lift it up, fear not;
say to the cities of Judah,
“Behold your God!”
Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;
behold, his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.
He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms;
he will carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead those that are with young.
Hear the good news that our LORD has come in love. His love is furious. He has lifted valleys and crushed mountains to reach out to us. He is mighty, majestic, and most glorious.
Yet, God’s love is also tender. Like a shepherd, He has gathers us as lambs into His arms. He carries us close to His chest; loving us dearly and deeply.
During this week of Advent, behold the love God has for us. As 1 John 4:9 (ESV) says, “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.”
Please don’t skim over that verse. Don’t let familiarity rob you from feeling the depth of the love that has been manifested toward you. Surely, we can’t celebrate the birth of Jesus and not look toward the cross where He was “pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:5 ESV). Jesus came to die in our place to lead us from certain death to life in the arms of our Father.
Beholding His love for us, may we love Him in how we love others. Reggie said it on Sunday, and it is true, “if we truly love people, we will point them to Jesus.”
Make this Christmas truly meaningful by spending some time to direct your heart’s focus on Jesus and giving others the best gift they can receive; Jesus.