This week we light the fourth candle on the Advent wreath.
We light this candle in love;
Jesus is love.
Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."
All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
"Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means, "God is with us."
When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.
Love is decisive.
Love is relentless.
Love is stubborn.
Love is no matter what.
Love is no matter when.
Love is no matter the cost.
Love is "yes, and".
Love is "with".
Love is that thing, that mysterious, indescribable thing
which holds us together
when all else seems to be crumbling apart.
Love is reckless and illogical.
Love stands when it more convenient to sit.
Love stays when it is easier to leave.
Love is silent when all you want to do is speak.
Love speaks even when fear tries to steal your voice.
Love is beyond us,
Yet simultaneously dwells within us.
Love makes no sense.
Yet love is the only thing that makes sense out of our everyday nonsense.
Love cannot be found...
This Advent, we await the arrival of Love made flesh.
If you listen closely you may even hear Love's voice...
in the cry of a child.
As Love, the love that is the presence of all of love
Comes down to make its dwelling with us; within us.
Sometime this week, before Christmas, write a note or card to someone who has been an example to you of the ferocity of love, someone who has reminded you of God's love, or someone who is the picture of love.
This would be an incredible Christmas gift to give to the one who fits this description for you.