We are in the last days of Advent, 2022. This is something I posted on the last Sunday of Advent, for which the theme is generally regarded to be LOVE.
We say, “God is Love” sometimes. Which is true. Always. But I also sometimes feel compelled to quote Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride:
“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
Love in its best sense is selfless, giving, all-encompassing, seeking the best for the beloved. God’s love is like that. Throughout the Old Testament, God presents love in his actions.
He loved his people by providing manna for them for decades as they wandered, disciplining them with oppressive enemies when they turned from him.
He loved them through the words of his prophets, through advance notice of trials to come. He loved them by promising them a savior, a king, one who would come from a very special bloodline so that they would know whom to watch for.
He loved them through the wisdom of his prophets, the examples of care and miraculous military wins. He loved them with hope.
And then…he went silent for hundreds of years, we are told. His words were written down and shared, but a new class of prophets or judges did not bring the same holy love by example to the people.
Until an angel came to a priest in Jerusalem, telling the priest that he and his wife would have a son who would be a prophet. Until an angel went to a teenaged girl and told her she would be the mother of the long-hoped-for messiah, the consolation of Israel of whom the prophets spoke for so many years, so very long before.
Until love came to God’s people in a very personal way: a baby.
This baby who would show God’s people that he had not abandoned them; he had a plan. That plan was made manifest in the birth of the ultimate sacrificial lamb who would pay the penalty for all the sins people had ever committed. The man who would bring the Creator and his people back together.
It’s all encompassing. It is strong. It is pervasive. It seeks the best for the beloved.
As we finish this Advent season, we can give thanks that God’s love is still with us. Because “Love never ends” according to I Corinthians 13:8a.
From my family to yours, Merry Christmas. May love pervade each day of the coming year!