Love is evidence of being created in the image of God. It is the remnant of our divine origins. God’s love is the miracle that created Christmas. It was God’s amazing love for us that prompted Him to send His only Son to us as a babe whose birth we celebrate at Christmas. It’s the warmth of that love that we encounter during the season. In the midst of the black Friday brawls, there are amazing stories of strangers showing extraordinary love because God first loved us. Every time you encounter extraordinary love this Christmas, you encounter the holiness of the holiday.
When we light the candle of love, it is can be referred to as the Mary Candle. Mary’s love for God motivated her to say “Yes” to the life-changing encounter with an angel and become the home for Jesus. Her love for God transformed her to love her Son, who became her Savior. It was Mary’s love for God that motivated her to say a wholehearted “Yes” to His invitation to become part of our redemption story.
Contrasting Eve and Mary reveals the holiness of love. Genuine love of God remakes us into holy people. Eve’s unholiness began when she doubted God’s goodness, while Mary’s holiness abounded when she kept giving into her instinct to love and trust in God’s good plan even when it made no sense to her. That is the power of love.
A mother’s love makes her most like God and causes her to reach beyond her own limits to respond to whatever her child may need. Mothers have a holy resilience when it comes to caring for their children. Mary showed that stamina of holy love when she stood by the cross while her Son hung in torment. Though that must have been the most horrific experience of her life, nothing could have taken her away from being beside the Son she loved. Love hurts but not enough to make us regret our love.
Love is what makes us better than we are. It is love that draws us to sacred, holy territory at Christmas. How can you move deeper into the love God pours into you through the Holy Spirit? Romans 5:5 says,
“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
Here we see the connection between hope and love. Our hope is and has been God’s love for us. His love is poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.
As we open our hearts to God’s love we become holy people. As we concentrate on God’s goodness, we respond as loving people. In the second week of Advent, take some time to connect to the love that has been poured into you by the Holy Spirit so that you find yourself with love to pour into others. This is sure to make your Advent a holy season.