I failed to fully understand “love" until I became a father and stood quietly over the crib of my newborn sleeping child. The overwhelming love I experienced for someone who could literally do nothing for me was surprising and new. I thought, "if I can feel this way towards my son how might God the Father feel towards me as his child?" I was reminded of the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:11, "If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” If I, in my imperfection can love so fully what does that say about the perfect love of God for his children?
In the chaotic world quick to express hate, I am thankful for Isaiah’s prophecy, “Then a throne will be established in steadfast love, and on it will sit in faithfulness in the tent of David one who judges and seeks justice and is swift to do righteousness.” (Isaiah 16:5). I am thankful for the fulfillment of this prophecy and for the perfect display of God the Father’s love for his children through the cross of His son Jesus Christ. I am listening anxiously for "the shout" and the soon return of the Son of God and the new Creation he will rule from a throne established in love.
Consider this wonderful text:
"In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:9-10)
During this 3rd week of Advent, Let us not simply express our love in packaged gifts but through sharing and expressing the divine love of God through the gift of his Son Jesus Christ our Savior. Let the text of this hymn wash over you this week:
Here is love, vast as the ocean,
loving-kindness as the flood,
when the Prince of Life, our Ransom,
shed for us His precious blood.
Who His love will not remember?
Who can cease to sing His praise?
He can never be forgotten
throughout heav'n's eternal days.
-“Here is Love” Hymn text by William Rees (1802-1883)
-Pastor Caleb Widmer