This Sunday is the second Sunday of Advent. Remember from last week, we talked about Advent being the weeks before Christmas when we prepare ourselves for Jesus’ birth by reading God’s Word and taking time to think about Jesus’ life and Him coming to earth to save us. Last week, we also thought about HOPE: our hope and promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ. This week, we want to think about LOVE.
We use the word love all the time in many different ways. We love our family; we love our pets; we love ice cream; we love playing outside; we love sunny days, and so forth. But this kind of love I’m talking about now is very, very special. God loved us so much that He wanted us all to live with Him forever, so He had to find a way to make that possible because we kept doing wrong things, so He sent His own Son, Jesus, to earth to be born as a baby on Christmas. Jesus grew up to show and tell us how we ought to live. Then Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice of love – His own life on a cross, so we could be forgiven when we did do wrong. Because of His love for us by dying and rising again, we know now that we can be with Him forever.
Wow, that’s a really special sort of love, isn’t it? The Bible says in John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for a friend.” If we are honest about that verse though, it would be hard to die for someone else’s sake, but that’s just what Jesus did for you and for me. He loved us that much!
God and Jesus aren’t asking us to give up our life, but they do want us to have and show genuine love for others – and not just to people we like and like us. We are to be kind to everyone and even pray for our enemies. Matthew 5:44 says, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who insult you.” I know that is very hard to do sometimes, but it’s the right thing to do for Jesus.
This next week, think about showing love to everyone through your own actions and then pray for them too. Love did come down at Christmas in the form of a little baby who would grow up to save the world. We are so lucky to have Jesus in our lives, so show Him how much you love Him by loving others.
Let’s say a prayer together. Dear Jesus, thank You for coming to earth as a baby and growing up to show us how to live a good life. Thank You for dying for our sins, so we can stay with You forever and ever. We love You and promise to try to live Your kind of special love. In Your name we pray, Amen.
Ann Moody is pastor of Wilkesville First Presbyterian Church and the Middleport First Presbyterian Church.