In this the love of God has made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the World, so that we might live through him. (1 John 4:9)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The love of God is made known to us by the coming of Jesus. During the season of Advent, we prepare for the coming of the Messiah. In John’s first epistle, we read about true love, the love that your Father in heaven has for you. God loved you in that He sent His only Son into this world of sin. Jesus is the clearest picture of love that we will ever see. His life, His actions, His words, His miracles–everything that He did on earth proclaimed the love that He has for us men even though we did not deserve this love.
All of us were dead in our sins and enemies of God. We were the most unlovable people you could ever imagine. Our nature is selfish and filled with sin. As children of wrath, we love ourselves first. We hate one another, and we most certainly do not love God. Without a Savior we could never be right with God. Our sins have condemned us, and left on our own, we would be in hell.
Jesus knew that without His love we would never love one another and we would never love God. So He willingly gave up His throne and came to earth. Born of the Virgin Mary, Christ came out of the womb, born in the same way as all men. Yet He was unique, for He came into this world without sin. Loved by His Father, He loved perfectly in return. Doing the will of Father, He set out to fulfill the Law by loving the Lord His God with all His heart, soul, mind, and strength and by loving His neighbor as Himself. Jesus went to the Cross, suffering all shame and facing the divine wrath of His Father on account of sin. Jesus suffered in our place and paid our price. Jesus died for you. Jesus’ love flowed down in the blood and the water. His love brought forth life and salvation to all who believe. The love Christ had for you kept Him on the Cross, and His sacrifice was accepted.
Jesus died. However, the grave could not hold Him, and because of His love for you, the grave will not hold you either. This is the love of God–sinners receiving life and salvation. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Heavenly Father, thank you for making known to us true love in the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross. Amen.
–Rev. William K. Stottlemyer is the pastor of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hancock, MD.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Duane Bamsch