The Advent Season - Week 4
It has been said that throughout history there have been more books, paintings, movies, poems, television shows and songs written about love than any other topic. Whether or not this claim is verifiable, it certainly makes sense.to me. Others refer to the Bible as God’s love letter for humanity. While that idea has merit, God’s word contains so much more than God’s love letter to the world. Depending on the version of the Bible that you read, there will be between 350sih to over 600 mentions of love in the bible. That is a lot. Evidently, love in its various forms, is an important attribute of God’s character and one of the most easily identifiable traits for God’s people.
Words like “perfect love casts out fear” and “love covers a multitude of sins” are in the scriptures to help us understand our freedom in Christ. Verses that show us that God loved the world enough to send his Son and that greater love has no one but this that a friend lay down their life for another are there as reminders of the great love that God the Father and God the Son have for us. And verses that remind us to love God, love our enemies, love our neighbor and love each other set guardrails for how we are to love. Finally, when Romans 8 tells us that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus gives comfort to us as we wrestle with our brokenness in our daily lives.
The Christmas classic “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” tells the story of the Grinch who has a rotten heart. In fact, we are told that in the song “You Are a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” (are you singing it in your head right now?) just how bad the Grinch’s heart is. Throughout the story, a little girl named Cindy Lou Who persentintly expresses love to the Grinch and by the end the barely beating heart of the Grinch has been turned into a heart overflowing with love and generosity. I am often reminded of the story of Zaccheaus when I watch “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas”. Zaccheaus was not well liked and yet when he encountered the love of Christ his heart changes (like the Grinch’s heart) so that he gives back what he has stolen. Obviously, the Dr. Zeuss classic doesn’t line up perfectly with the biblical story of the Gospel but if you watch it or read it this year a little differently--you will begin to see redemptive elements in the story.
Week 4: Love
Sunday, December 23: John 3:15-16; John 13:31-35
Monday, December 24: John 15:1-17
Tuesday, December 25: 1 Corinthians 13
Wednesday, December 26: Deuteronomy 10:12-22
Thursday, December 27: 1 Peter 4:7-11
Friday, December 28: Matthew 1:18-25
Saturday, December 29: Matthew 27: 32-56