During this forth week of Advent, we light the candle of love. As we celebrate this forth week of advent, we come to the embodiment of not only the mission of God, but the embodiment of God, Himself. God is love. Love is defined by any act that is of God. With Christ’s coming into the world, love would claim its victory over death and destruction, despite our death being rightfully earned. Where we once stood condemned to die a sinners death, in love, Jesus Christ came to save and redeem His people. This is the mission of God.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
– John 3:16-17, NIV
While this may be one of the most quoted bible verses, the impact of its meaning is not diminished. With the coming of Jesus into this world, the divine rescue mission for all people had begun. God is love and His coming into the world is the coming of love that would be poured out for all who receive him. No matter what type of person they are, where they come from, or their past, the love of God was made accessible to all persons.
Love for the Unloveable
Throughout my life, there have been many people that have been difficult to love. Whether they are just mean spirited people, socially awkward, or any other reason, some people have been hard to love. We must never forget that we are the unloveable, who are loved by God. There is nothing that we can do to merit the love of God. Sin is rebellion against God. As sinners, we have rebelled against God. Where most would decide to put down the rebellion by force, God chose to save those who were in rebellion. We were unloveable. But that by no means would inhibit a sovereign, omnipotent God whose nature is in itself love. He loves us all the same.
As Christ came in to this world in the divine rescue mission of love, the message is abundantly clear. We are encouraged to pour out the love that God has given us to those around us. The world and our immediate community can bear witness to the love we show to those who may be difficult. The love of God flows through us in how we love the world. Although some people may be difficult to love, with Christ’s love deep within our hearts, we can show that love to the difficult people.
Love the World
There is this prevalent idea in Christian circles that we should hate the world. This is somewhat misleading. What is often meant by this is that we should hate the things of this world, or more succinctly, the desires of our worldly flesh. Yet, it is key to bear in mind that God came to redeem the world not destroy it. Every last thing is worth saving. Every part. There are no people who are outside of the love of God. All people are worth extending the offer of eternal life. No matter what they have done, God’s love is for the world in its entirety wishing that no one should die.
As those who have put our hope and trust in God, we have been saved and redeemed by the love of God. Just as Christ came in to this world in an act of love, we too are sent into the world with that same mission and clarion call. We are called to love the world as a representation of the love that God has for us. Just as we are loved beyond our ability to earn it, we should love the world. It is the transformative love from Jesus Christ that can heal hearts, mend wounds, and save souls. Furthermore, it is offered to the world. We love the world, by pointing them towards the one who would rescue them from the clutches of death.
Love has come into the world in the child of Jesus Christ. The love of God will be made perfect when he returns and calls those who follow Him home.