Advent Week 4: Love

Posted on December 18, 2016 by Lahna Pottle
Categories: Primary, Secondary, 16-19s,

So, you’ve made it to the final week of advent, assemblies done, lunch groups tied up, Christmas jumpers worn and masses of mince pies consumed (and that was just for youth group games!). Now begins your own preparation for Christmas!

In the hustle and bustle leading up to Christmas day it can often feel as if the love that is central in this amazing story has been lost, just like the Black Eyed Peas said ‘Where is the love?’.

In a world and culture that longs for instant results whether that be retweets, likes, self-satisfying choices or dinner in under two minutes, this ancient story of love can seem so distant. Yet this story to me feels even more relevant today that it has ever before.

God chooses to come into this world in a ‘Jeremy Kyle’ style scenario with an unexpected pregnancy and it’s not Joseph’s, yet even his love for Mary meant that no matter what he wanted to do right by her – that’s love! Jesus comes to experience life like you and I, the ups and downs, the good and the bad, so that we can connect with a God who says ‘I know what you’re going through and I still love you’.

The Christmas story is one that shows God’s love through all the mess of life, the broken relationships, the hurting situations, the need of home, shelter and acceptance, things that many of us and especially young people face today. Sounds like a very relevant story to me.

God sends His one and only Son to save the whole of humanity because he loves his creation, no cost to us, but a huge one for him. So at the heart of this advent season we have love, love that is freely given, love that changes lives and impacts the world, love that accepts unconditionally, love that says ‘you are worth everything just as you are, because that’s how I made you’.

To me this is so powerful, yet it is a love I struggle to share, too often my love comes with strings attached, with small print and T&C’s, far from unconditional. As we draw closer to Christmas day I am challenged about how I can share this pure love with those around me? Challenged to be proactive in my acceptance of others just as they are, because I need that to. How can I show love even when it costs me time, money, patience or whatever it may be?

How can you be an example to those around you in the way you share love, treat people and embody this life changing story?

I feel the words of the great song writer Suggs sum it up: 

"It must be love, love, love

Nothing more, nothing less

Love is the best."

May you know and share God’s love this Christmas.

Merry Christmas from all at Phase.

Kieran Murphy