“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son…”
John 3:16 offers some of the best-known words in the entire Bible. A story, a promise. And it all starts with Christmas. With God giving us his Son, Jesus. Emmanuel. God with us.
Now that my children are grown, I still remember the overpowering rush of love that engulfed me when each one was born. And the heartbreak that happened every time they “flew the nest” – even though I knew I would continue to hear from, see, and hug them again.
Jesus’ sacrifice didn’t start on the way to the cross. It started when he left Paradise and joined us in this dark world of sinners, pain, and devastation. All because he loves us that much.
Traditional Activity: The Angel’s Candle
The fourth and final candle celebrated with the Advent wreath is often referred to as the “Angel’s Candle” or the “Candle of Love.” It commemorates the heavenly messengers who proclaimed the good news of Jesus’ birth to the shepherds in Luke 2:8-14. During this series, we’ve been reading this angelic proclamation and reflecting on the profound love that God demonstrated by sending His Son into the world. Read it slowly, alone or with your family. As you do, notice what stands out to you now, in this final week of Advent.
As you light the Angel’s Candle, take a moment to meditate on the love that God poured into the world through the gift of His Son. Consider how your family can emulate this love in your interactions with one another and in your community.
Modern Twist: The Love Letters
Jesus’ great love inspires us to love one another. Encourage your family to write love letters to each other, or to people who have made a significant impact on their lives. These letters can express gratitude, love, and appreciation. Share the letters during your Advent gatherings to foster a sense of love and unity within your family.
A Traditional Song: “Angels We Have Heard on High”
One appropriate traditional hymn to enjoy while lighting the Angel’s Candle is “Angels We Have Heard on High.” This song takes us right back to Bethlehem at the time of Jesus’ birth, where his love became incarnate. As you sing the chorus of “Glorias,” let the knowledge that he loves you deeply wash over you.
Song: “Love Came Down” by Kari Jobe
“Love Came Down” by Kari Jobe is a modern worship song that beautifully encapsulates the essence of the Advent season, emphasizing the divine love that descended to earth through Jesus. Its heartfelt lyrics and moving melody make it a perfect addition to your family’s reflections on love during Advent.
Thank you for joining me this Advent season. I hope the timeless traditions, songs, and stories we’ve explored help you and your family richly experience God’s hope, peace, joy, and love this Christmas. And that you are even more ready to speak about the reason for the hope we have because Jesus came. Emmanuel. God with us.
Wishing you a blessed and joyous Christmas!