ADVENT: Fourth Sunday and Fourth Week - LOVE
Sunday, December 24 2017
CHRISTMAS Eve and Day are almost upon us. How have you been doing with your ADVENT celebration? Hopefully you have been able to have some quiet moments to draw near to God – and now that this special night in which we celebrate the birth of Jesus is almost here, hopefully you have been able to know and feel His great and eternal LOVE for you.
"The story of Christmas is the story of God's relentless LOVE for us... Because of Bethlehem, I have a Saviour in heaven. Christmas begins what Easter celebrates. The child in the cradle became the King on the cross." (Max Lucado)
In this last week of ADVENT we light a candle to celebrate LOVE. It was for LOVE that Jesus “who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness…” (Philippians 2:6,7) It was because of LOVE that “… being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:8) As He Himself said, “Greater LOVE has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13) And He did this because “… I have LOVED you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” (Jeremiah 31:3)
Dear friend: in these last days of the ADVENT celebration, and in all the days to come, may you be strengthened “… with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in LOVE, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the LOVE of Christ, and to know this LOVE that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:16-19)
Fourth Sunday of ADVENT: December 24 – CHRISTMAS EVE
The Candle of LOVE
this holy night is radiant with the brilliance of your one true light.
May that light illuminate our hearts and shine in our words and deeds.
May the hope, the peace, the joy, and the love
represented by the birth in Bethlehem this night
fill our lives and become part of all that we say and do.
May we share the divine life of your son Jesus Christ,
even as he humbled himself to share our humanity.
(Rev. Richard J. Fairchild)
Monday December 25 – CHRISTMAS DAY
Psalm 107:1-3 + 8
A promise to the world, a child to be given
so many years foretold so all could be forgiven.
Moonless night shining with the Morning Star
calling watchful shepherds to come from afar.
Wise Men carry gifts meant for only a King
angels up in heaven "Glory, Glory" sing.
God became a man, the Good News is born
begotten Son arrives on this Christmas morn.
Our mighty God concedes to the wickedness of man
the Prince of Peace comes to bridge the empty span.
Wonderful is His name, Counselor to the meek
the Son was born of flesh to give power to the weak.
Our everlasting Father knows our fallen state
so He sent His only Son to save us from our fate.
A promise to the world, our Lord and Savior is born
sing "Praises to His Glory" on this Christmas morn.
(by Deborah Ann Belka)
- Where Joy and Sorrow Meet
- A Sacred Refuge Is Your Name
- And His Name Shall Be Called...
- What King Is This?
- He Has Visited His People
- In The Fullness of Time
- What Man Is This?
- What Child Is This?
- What Babe Is This?
- 1 John 3:16
- The Bridges of Prague in the Czech Republic
- The Legacy of Wartburg Castle in Germany
- Martin Luther: Here He Stood (1483-1546)
- Katharina von Bora: The Runaway Nun (1499-1552)
- Johannes Bugenhagen: The Administrative Pastor (1485-1558)
- Zacharius Ursinus: The Happy Professor (1534-1583)
- Theodore Beza: The First Calvinist (1519-1605)
- Lady Jane Grey: The Teenage Martyr (c.1537-1554)
- Pierre Viret: The Smile of the Reformation (1511-1571)
- Robert Estienne: The Ink (1503-1559)