Advent 3: Love in the midst of Hate

The journey towards Christmas continues. Ten days from today is Christmas Day. Advertisers would tell us to hurry up and finish our shopping. The hustle and bustle is real and all around us. Advent is about preparing for the birth Jesus, but perhaps it has more to do with our hearts than with how many gifts we have purchased or how many packages are around our tree.

The candles of Peace and Joy have been lit and are joined this week by the pink or rose candle Love. While I am certain I didn’t talk about hate today in worship, I did focus on Love. Love can be elusive this time of the year in spite of all the smiling faces that come at us in the advertisements streaming on our devices or pictured all around us. Love is a gift and a commitment that we know first from God’s love for us.

In the Zephaniah passage, this verse is profound: God will renew you in his love (New Revised Standard Version). The Common English Bible says it this way: God will create calm with his love. On Christmas eve we sing “All is calm, all is bright” and “Son of God, love’s pure light.” Love doesn’t back down from difficulty or fear, love renews us and creates calm in our lives our hearts.

You can find today’s worship service here. I am praying for Love this week to renew me and you and create calm in our lives and hearts and spirits.

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