Tuesday after the Second Sunday in Advent
Scripture: 1 John 4:9-16 (NKJV)
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.
We rightly prepare for Christ’s second Advent by meditating on the love that caused His first Advent. As truly as “God is love,” so truly can that love never be separated from the Person of Christ, Whom the Father sent as the propitiation for our sins. Since the very beginning, God’s intention was not to condemn the world, but, in love, to save it by giving His Son, that all men might know and confess Jesus as the Son of God and as the Savior of the world. It was love that moved the Son of God to become the Son of Man, and it is still love that moves God to give His Holy Spirit, to call sinners to faith and to abide in the faithful, so that when Christ comes, all may be found abiding, by faith, in Him who loved us and gave Himself for us.
A Christian’s response to that love is twofold: faith toward God, and love toward our neighbor, especially toward one another as fellow Christians. Faith and love cannot be separated from one another in the life of a Christian, because both are produced by one and the same Spirit, so that the one who abides in faith abides also in love. In the time that remains before Christ comes again, may the behavior of God’s children toward one another reflect the love with which God has first loved us.
Collect: Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to make ready the way of Your Only-Begotten Son, so that by His coming we may be enabled to serve You with pure minds; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.