Tuesday after Populus Sion, The Second Sunday in Advent
Scripture: 1 John 4:9-16 (NKJV)
4:9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.
13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us.
God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
Mankind has invented all sorts of mangled notions of love. But Christians have the perfect pattern of love set forth for us in God the Father’s sending of His Son to be the world’s Savior, to give His whole life as the atonement for our sins. The love of God is His sincere devotion to our human race, in spite of our rebellion against Him who is love, in spite of our transgressions against His love-centered commandments. God’s sincere devotion to sinners was put on display in the incarnation of His Son, in His obedience to the Law in our place, in His humility, in His Words, in His deeds, and especially in His willing sacrifice on the cross. And now, as God calls out to us in the Gospel, inviting us to repent of our lovelessness and come into His kingdom of grace, the Word of God’s sincere devotion to us in Christ is what draws us to Him in faith, by which we are grafted into the Son of God, grafted into His love.
Those who have been grafted into His love by faith are now directed outward, to show this same kind of love to one another. How can it be any other way? Faith and love always go together. Faith toward God brings sincere devotion to one another, a heart set on doing good to our fellow believers, praying for them, forgiving them as we have been forgiven, serving them as we have been served, loving them as we have been loved. May this kind of love characterize us in the world as we celebrate the advent of Him who loved us and gave Himself for us!
We pray: Come, Holy Spirit, renew our hearts and kindle in us the fire of Your love! Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.