Today is the third Sunday of advent, the second Sunday before Christmas Day. Advent in Latin means ‘coming’, and so the advent season is when we look forward to celebrating the coming of Jesus into the world.
You may have seen many churches light an advent candle on each of the four Sundays of advent, and a central fifth candle on Christmas Day. Worship during advent is almost like a round up of all things that Christmas represents to Christians, with the candles representing the light of God coming to earth as the Christ-child.
Each of the four advent candles has a meaning
Today, on the third Sunday of advent we think about the love that Jesus brings to the world.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16
I’ve maybe surprised you by using the words from John 3:16 as part of this post about Christmas. However although not often used at Christmas time, I think it does relate to Christmas, as God did give his Son to the world when Jesus was born that first Christmas morn.
Noel, Noel Come and see what God has done Noel, Noel The story of amazing love! The light of the world, given for us Noel
God giving his Son to the world is why we celebrate Christmas, it’s how the world came to understand what true love was all about. Christmas is. about celebrating the love the Christ-child showed the world, it’s not about what gifts we receive, it’s about God’s love coming to earth when Jesus was born.
Here’s a poem by Christina Rossetti that I’m sure you’ve heard many times before, but words which fit perfectly with today’s post as they remind us of the love of advent.
Love came down at Christmas, Love all lovely, Love Divine, Love was born at Christmas, Star and Angels gave the sign. Worship we the Godhead, Love Incarnate, Love Divine, Worship we our Jesus, But wherewith for sacred sign? Love shall be our token, Love be yours and love be mine, Love to God and all men, Love for plea and gift and sign.