Advent Week 4: The Light of Love
By Evelyn Reams | December 18, 2022 | Return to Blog
Each week of advent traditionally focuses on a single theme, leading up to Christmas, when the birth of Christ is celebrated. This week's theme is Love, which God shines into our lives in order to share with others.
God sees each of us much differently than we see each other or ourselves. In 1 Samuel 16:7, the Lord speaks to Samuel, explaining that “the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” If we accept the free gift of salvation, He sees us as His own beloved children. We then become agents of spreading that same unconditional love to those we encounter in our lives.
“Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling." 1 John 2: 9-10
The presence or absence of love can reveal much about the state of the heart. A heart with no love for others remains in the darkness. Although every human has failed to deserve perfect love, God offers it to the world. In Psalm 25, David writes, “Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth. Remember me in the light of your unfailing love, for you are merciful, O LORD.” Being overcome by God’s love for us is the only way we will have anything left to share with those around us. It is how we can stop keeping a record of wrongs and turn over a fresh page when we are hurt by others.
“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law." Romans 13:8
Debt is generally not recommended in the Bible, which encourages hard work, generosity, and avoiding dependence as much as possible. We are, however, told to keep a debt to love others outstanding. We must walk through life “in the red” and stay compelled to love others. Try as we might, we can never pay off the debt by showing “just enough” love and stopping short. In the timeless words of the Lord’s prayer, “and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Matthew 5:16
When we pursue faithfulness and love for one another, we take part in fulfilling the law of God. Praise be to God, who showed his great love for sinners in the gift of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. This Christmas, may each of us remember how God's great gift of love to us enables us to share it with the world.