ADVENT CONNECTIONS 2016: Everlasting Love

Of the Father’s love begotten,
Ere the worlds began to be,Advent 4 candles
He is Alpha and Omega,
He the source, the ending He,
Of the things that are, that have been,
And that future years shall see,
Evermore and evermore!
As it continues, this ancient carol sings of Mary bearing the Saviour of us all, our Redeemer revealed in the face of a little child, the long-awaited One calling forth praise from the angels and all creation.  In a simple and lilting plainsong chant, we are carried from the beginning of time to an eternity where this once-tiny Baby reigns over all with the Father and Holy Spirit, the Holy Trinity.
In the midst of the bustle, the activities, the shopping, the baking; amongst the fullness, the emptiness, the crowds and the loneliness of the season, we must remember LOVE.  This gift we celebrate, this birth we commemorate, this person we welcome is all about love.  Of the Father’s love begotten . . . conceived out of love for us, given in love to us.  I pause to hear again that God so loved the world, so loved those I know, those I do not know, those who know and love him, those who have never heard of him, so loved me . . . that he gave his one and only Son.
And so our best gift this season is to love in return.  First, to love the One who first loved us.  What will that look like for you today?  Stop and ask, “How can I love you today, Jesus?” and listen for how the Spirit is prompting you to express your love to God.  And second, to love others.  Again, stop and reflect.  Who can you love today?  Someone close by that you know?  Someone in need?  Someone who feels unloved?
This is a season that is to be immersed in love.  God is love.  Jesus was begotten in love.  And God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us (Romans 5:5b).  In response, may our lives be marked by an overflow of love and praise for to the One who loves us.
Let no tongue on earth be silent,
Every voice in concert sing, Evermore and evermore
Prayer:  Lord God, we come to you with grateful hearts for the amazing gift of your love in Jesus.   Slow us down so that we can fully receive you and teach us how to live in your love and let it shine through us.  Amen.
Listen to this beautiful ancient carol of Christmas, Of the Father’s Love Begotten