Sunday, December 24, 2017

Advent Day 22 ~ Love

Today's word is Love.

"This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."
1 John 4:9-10

I should have included verse 8 when I set up the daily Scripture readings because verse 8 gives us our foundation: "God is love." 

Love is not simply a characteristic of God or somethings He does. Love is who God is. It is His very nature and being, just as holiness is. God is holy and God is love. All that He is and all that He does is holy and loving. His most holy and loving act was in the Incarnation. He sent His Son into the world for us as the ultimate act love. We did nothing to earn or gain this loving act. In fact, the Bible tells us that there is nothing we can do, no act worthy of gaining God's love. Why? Because of sin. Sin entered this world through the act of man in the beginning and separated us from God's favor. But God had a plan to restore His favor on us. Paul says it this way in the book of Romans:

"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5:6-8

And again Paul describes it  in the book of Titus:

"But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life."
Titus 3:4-7

We were powerless to earn His love. We did nothing. We were separated from God because of sin; yet this did not stop a loving God from repairing the breach that stood between us. "This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." ~ 1 John 4:10

This is love ~ the Incarnation. God sent his one and only Son into the world.
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 all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign.
~Poem by Christina Rossetti, 1885

Advent is a celebration of waiting and preparing for the love God sent into the world in the birth of His Son and our Savior at Christmas. 

Officially, Advent ends today on Christmas Eve, yet I'll post one last time tomorrow. Today, however, I want to thank all of you for joining me this year on this Advent journey. It has been great fun interacting with everyone through Instagram and the FaceBook group. It has been a thrill for me to share the art and creativity of those who joined in! As I said in the beginning, I am going to study the Christian calendar in 2018 and Advent is actually the beginning of the Christian year. So I invite you to stick around as I explore the "Sacred Time" known as the Christian Year. 

My art journal pages for today:

I have one page left for tomorrow, Christmas day, but other than that my journal is complete!

The Advent Words 2017 prompts and Scripture reading calendar can be found in this post or in the Facebook group.

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