What is Advent?

e celebrate the Advent season because….“Love Came Down at Christmas”

The Advent Season is the month leading up to Christmas. It’s a time of anticipation; awaiting the second coming of the our Lord, Jesus Christ. We celebrate His first coming as a baby and are hopeful for His second coming at the end of the age. This is what Christmas is all about…the coming of a baby, a king, a Savior who loved the world.

Sinclair Ferguson says “Love is in the air every Christmas. It features in the songs we hear as we shop for presents and in the commercials we see on TV (‘Show someone they’re loved this Christmas’, as one department store slogan put it). Love is present in the cards we send and in the words we write on the tags we attach to the presents we give (‘With love from…’). It is a theme that is also likely to feature prominently in the annual round of Christmas interviews in the magazines and newspapers. Each year various famous people are inevitably asked what Christmas means to them….’Well, it means…I wish people would just love each other. That’s what Christmas is really all about, isn’t it? That’s what it means to me, anyway. Yes, love.’ Then imagine if their reason was…’Christmas is about love because Love came down at Christmas. That’s why we have Christmas in the first place! The meaning of Christmas is found in the message of Christmas: God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. That would certainly be an interview to remember.

But that is really what Christmas is about. The apostle Paul says it in Gal 2:20 The Son of God…loved me and gave Himself for me. Love is summed up in Jesus Christ. He showed us what love looks like and we love others by being like Him.

 

1 Corinthians 13 (The Way of Love)
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Love…it is the greatest thing in the world but it is the most demanding as well.

In these Sundays leading up to Christmas, we are going to walk through this passage and explore what love means for us and why “Love came down at Christmas”.

(“Love Came Down at Christmas: Daily Readings for Advent” by Sinclair Ferguson will be our resource for the Sunday Advent readings. You can get a copy in the resource center to study 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 daily this Advent season.)

 
 

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