Third Sunday of Advent
December 16, 2018
DARKNESS -TO- THE LIGHT OF LOVE
Written by Jonathan Sturgis
God created Adam & Eve and fellowshipped with them daily in the Garden of Eden. There was trust and communion between God and his creation. There was Peace. God & man shared the Light of Love. But when Eve & Adam sinned, they hid themselves from the eyes of God and fell into spiritual darkness. Their desire for the knowledge of good and evil led to their disobedience and this sin caused separation, guilt and shame. In their nakedness they couldn’t face God; but hid themselves from Him behind some trees. They were afraid of the God who gave them life. But after God disciplined them for their sin, he performed a surprising and terrible act of LOVE. The Bible does not mention what mammal it was, but God sacrificed one of His created animals to form the “garments of skin” to clothe Adam & Eve and ease their shame. Can you imagine the heartache of the LORD God as He performed this first sacrifice for sin? I believe this animal may have been a ram; a perfect male lamb. The same animal that God provided His obedient servant, Abraham. The animal chosen by God for the Passover sacrifice and meal. The same animal that was sacrificed for the sins of God’s people for centuries. It is what John the Baptist called Jesus when he saw him coming to be baptized, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” And God so loved the world that He gave his one and only son.
You see, this love did not only come in the Advent of Jesus on this earth. It was conceived at the beginning of time and in the garden as it was demonstrated in God’s sacrifice. God loves you so much. He did not wait to make a plan; or switch to strategy “B”. God’s LIGHT of Love was intentional and foreknown from the beginning.
I Peter 1:19-20a “You have been redeemed with precious blood, as of a lamb, unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ (our Messiah). For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world”
But let us not forget the many times written about in the New Testament of Jesus displaying God’s love.
- Jesus showed the love of friendship when he healed Peter’s mother in law. •Jesus demonstrated the love of sympathy when he raised to life the only son of a widow. •He was love when Jesus, having just heard of his cousin, John the Baptist’s beheading, had compassion on the pressing crowd and healed them all. •Jesus shared the love of healing when the bleeding woman touched the fringe of his garment. •And Jesus expressed the love of a son when he made plans to care for his own mother as he hung, dying on the cross.
These are but a few examples of the love of God through Jesus the Christ; our Messiah.
This Christmas season you may be mourning the loss of a loved one. Or agonizing over a lost child or spouse. We may feel depression or sadness due to our heavy, pressing circumstances. But be of good cheer! You can experience joy in this . . . God loves you. Repeat it if you believe it, “Jesus Love me.” And his love is unfailing, sufficient and everlasting.
Deuteronomy 7:9 “Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.”
Romans 8:39 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present or the future, or any powers, neither height nor depth, or anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”