As you read this letter the time of waiting will have begun in earnest. The question is, ‘What are you waiting for?’
Black Friday? The holidays? Father Christmas? Snow to fall?
You may be waiting sometime for some of them and when they do arrive they are just as quickly gone.
Advent is a time of waiting and preparation for the birth of Jesus. Those of you who have been or are parents will know what it feels like to wait for the arrival of a newborn baby. Others of you will have experienced similar feelings for any new addition to your family. It is a time when there is a flurry of activity, as things are made ready for the new arrival. It is a time when we prepare ourselves for a change, a change in routine, a change in how we feel and maybe in how we view life and the world. For many new parents it’s learning to love someone else, when up to now their love has been centred on perhaps just one person.
Christina Rossetti wrote the following words, which describe the Incarnation of the Son of God as love.
Love came down at Christmas,
love all lovely, Love divine;
Love was born at Christmas;
star and angels gave the sign.
Worship we the Godhead,
Love incarnate, Love divine;
worship we our Jesus,
but wherewith for sacred sign?
Love shall be our token,
love be yours and love be mine;
love to God and others,
love for plea and gift and sign.
A love so special that humankind could only access it after the birth of Jesus. The words are heartfelt and beautiful in their simplicity.
At the heart of this poem is the poet’s belief that love is at the centre of the Christian faith.
1 John 4: 16 ‘God is love, and those who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.’
What a wonderful gift to the world. What if we could give that gift to others this Christmas and during 2018? What a different and better place the world would be.
Love came down at Christmas not just for you and me, but for all people. God sent His Son, His Love, to share among us. When we receive God’s love in our hearts and lives, He promises to never leave us. Christmas is a time for sharing, let us share God’s love, let us reach out to those who have yet to know and experience ‘Love all lovely, Love divine’.
The world is waiting, are you?
Father God, help your people this Advent and Christmas time to prepare their hearts and lives to receive your gift of love and to respond to the challenge that it brings. Amen.
I wish you all a Happy Christmas filled with the love of Christ.