I have really enjoyed this Advent season. We’ve tried really hard as a family to focus on Jesus and not so much on all the busyness and hub-bub that this season can bring. The Jesse Tree devotions and ornaments have been a great way for us as a family to touch base each night and to celebrate the different aspects of God. Because we aren’t opening gifts until New Years we’ve done very little shopping which has also helped to keep clear of the dreaded mall and shopping chaos.
Today is Christmas Eve. Tonight we’ll go to our church for the candlelight service. The fifth Advent candle will be lit tonight… the candle that represents Love. Most often I am drawn into the joy of the birth of Jesus. I picture the humble stable, a tired mother, a relieved father and tiny little baby boy. I imagine the joy that Mary and Joseph must have had while gazing at their baby. This year it really hit me that there was another Father gazing down at His son – yes, with joy and love – but what else must He have been feeling knowing the reason why He sent His son. His heart must have been aching… so full of Love for us…
It is because He loved us first that we can love Him, that we can love others… Think of that tonight and tomorrow as you gather with your family and friends. When your heart feels so full of love that you just have to embrace your spouse and squeeze your children – remember that it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with His Love.
I received a phone call from my Pastor last night. He was calling with bad news. One of our church members had passed away yesterday. This couple had lived across the street from us when we first moved here and they had become very active with the youth in our church. He had such a passion and love for the junior high students. My heart breaks for their family.
I am also thinking of my friend that passed away in March. This is the first Christmas for her husband and kids without her. How hard that this must be for them. I know that Christmas was one of her favorite holidays and she loved to decorate her home and she was so joyful. My heart breaks for their family.
I imagine that Heaven is celebrating a mighty Christmas. I think we have no idea the magnitude of worship – the magnitude of Glory… I am sad for the many families and friends that are missing loved ones. If we could catch but a small glimpse of Heaven – to see our loved ones celebrating with hosts of angels – we would weep. Not of sadness but of joy.
This Advent candle is Love. Love so complete – so full – so pure… Celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus!! Be filled with His joy!! Wrap your arms around your loved ones and tell them how much God loves them… so much that He sent His one and only Son…