Advent of Love
Advent is defined as the coming into a place, view, or being; arrival. The Season of Advent then, to the church, is a time to look forward to the celebration of Christmas, and to remember and experience the Advent the Israelites experienced from the time of Isaiah’s prophecy until its fulfillment. This final week before Christmas, is the week of Love, the Advent of Love. It is easy to understand the experiences of hope, peace, and love that come with this time of waiting and anticipation, but how does love fit into the picture?
Love is the reason we are able to experience hope, peace, and joy that come with this time of year. Love is the reason Isaiah was sent to warn Israel that they needed to change. And love is the reason Isaiah was given an uplifting message to accompany his warnings. Throughout his ministry, throughout the many warnings of the coming trials, Isaiah also told of a person who was going to come and save not just Israel, but the entire world!
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16, NIV)
God’s love for all His children, for YOU!, is the reason God sent His Son to die for our sins. Prior to His death, Jesus’ ministry had a heavy focus on love. When asked to identify the greatest commandment, Jesus pointed to two that instructed us to love. Jesus’ actions, from healing the injured, blind, and lame, to His preaching to the masses, to His death, were all borne out of love.
Isaiah, while warning the Israelites, also carried the message of God’s love. That message of love inspired hundreds of years of hope among the Israelites. The hope of their coming king. The message inspired hundreds of years of peace among the Israelites. Peace in knowing their king and Savior was coming. The message inspired hundreds of years of joy among the Israelites. Joy of knowing their king, Savior, and Son of God, was coming to provide salvation. All of Isaiah’s prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus Christ, who acted entirely out of love.
We have spent time these past few weeks reflecting upon the 700 year journey the Israelites took as they awaited the coming of the prophesied Savior. This week, consider the journey that we are on. Jesus came and fulfilled the prophesies of Isaiah, but His work is not done. The Israelites were awaiting the coming of Jesus Christ. Today, we are awaiting His second coming. Do we have the same hope, peace, and joy in our time of Advent? Do we take God’s message as one of love?
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