The Love of Advent: Day Two
Last night, 6 adults and two small children piled into my sister-in-law’s car and we set out on an adventure to see the Christmas lights. There is this place in Nashville where you drive through this display set to music, which you turn your radio dial to during the drive. It was pretty awesome as an adult, but it was even more fun to watch the kid’s faces as they experienced it. Our oldest niece was just locked in, staring out the window, not talking too much. The one-year old on her mom’s lap was bouncing to the music and giggling, her face reflected in the light.
As we drove through the lights in the massive line of cars, the adults ooh-ing and aww-ing just as much as the kids, I was reminded about how pervasive light is, how compelling it is. People are willing to give money, sit through awkward music, and wait in traffic, but when all is said and done, the only thing talked about was the lights.
The night of Jesus birth, the three wise men were driven by the light of the star. When the angels appeared to the shepherds, the sky was filled with light. Light had come to the world in the form of a baby born in a dark stable, as the ultimate demonstration of love.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
– Matthew 5:14-16
Christmas is a reminder that we have a part to play in the story. That while Jesus came to earth to restore our relationship with the Father, that he left us with the opportunity to love like he did, letting our light shine and point back to the source of that light. Jesus was born human parents, in the dark of night, and lived out how love looks, a love that is willing to sacrifice it’s own life for the sake of others, for my sake. And that changes everything. He lived as a light that was so compelling, that it still draws people from miles, to put up with inconveniences, all for just a blurry glimpse of this Jesus, and when we experience it, it’s all we can talk about.
The love that we experience through Jesus compels us to love patiently, kindly, without boasting or envy, without arrogance or rudeness, not insisting on our own way, not rejoicing in wrongs, but in the truth. Love bears all things, just as Jesus did as he moved toward the cross. As we worship, as we surround ourselves with friends and family, may we love well, bearing all things, just as that perfect baby would do for us.