Advent 2017: Love

I hope all of you have been enjoying this season of advent with communities in churches and with friends and families. This season brings forward the contemplative as we focus on the themes of remembrance and anticipation of the coming Messiah! As we slowly go through each of the Sundays of December we are asked to stop and refocus our lives around hope, peace, joy, and love. This season helps all of us create space so that we can experience different aspects of the birth of Jesus!

As we approach the last Sunday of Advent we approach the theme of Love! I bet some of you reading this are thinking, “I know about God’s love”, While others have never heard this story before. For all of you this is a story about how much you truly are loved and what it looks like to include true love in our lives in this season of the year!

This is what He did

The Church does a great job expressing that there is this sacrificial love that happens when Jesus dies on the cross, which is such a true statement. However, I would venture to say that the sacrificial love that we are talking about begins at his birth! The unimaginable happens when Jesus leaves the right hand of the father to live among those that aren’t worthy to even speak God’s name. It is an act of love that drives the redemptive story of Jesus forward. It is this act of love that should drive the follower of Jesus forward. When Jesus comes to be born among us, he brings the kingdom of God with him and sets forth a new reign. This beautiful expression of love sends ripples through humanity, but it doesn’t stop there.

This is what you get to do

Jesus’ coming is an example to all that follow him! He shows us how to serve people, how to leave the place where you are and serve those that need it most, give up your title to bring hope to hopeless, peace to the distraught, and redemption to the rejected. If this is true then Jesus’ words assume more power. Jesus says in the Gospel of John, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” If we want to exemplify what Jesus is doing at his birth we must love people like he loved us; this is also the signpost for others to know that we follow Jesus.

Mahatma Ghandi once wrote, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

This Season gives us the opportunity to change this!

Something crazy is about to be said so approach lightly…

Love in this season of Christmas already exists, love of money, love of self, and love of things. The sad part is that’s not love at all. It should actually be lust of money, lust of self, and lust of things if we wanted to describe it appropriately. It’s like reading a bad story where the characters and their actions are contrary to the message and theme of the book. I’ve seen this horribly in my life. I am the product of an environment where people are self-serving and worried more about their own lives than another person’s. I am the product of divorce, misshapen identity, and abandonment because people sought after what they could get rather than how they could love. It is because of Jesus’ self-sacrificing love that I am the man I am today. This day in the advent season, as well as this season altogether, provides us the opportunity to reorient our thinking from “me to we” or from “me to you”. This season provides a stepping off point for changing how we should truly act towards others!

For those struggling with the concept of Love…

I hope this finds you well in your current season with the Father! Wherever you are in your walk, know that you are truly loved by the Father and there is not a thing you can do to earn it! He saw you from a distance and ran to you and threw his arms around you, and when you tried to apologize for what you had done, He placed his finger to your lips and said, “ I love you”! That is all that matters. Yeah, theology can be messy and confusing, but just know you are simply and truly loved by the God that created you and knows you! If this is hard to believe, take this season to slowly walk into that love. It’s a love that will call to your innermost parts and bring to life what was once dead!

Merry Christmas!


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Abraham Musto
INSTAGRAM & TWITTER:
@NOMAD_GOODS

Abraham grew up in the middle of California before he made his way to Orange County for Vanguard University. He graduated with a degree in Biblical studies and is currently pursuing his Master of Arts in Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary. More recently Abraham has relocated to San Diego to be a Middle School Director. If there is people, coffee, and good conversation that is generally where you will find him.