This is the fourth in a series of candle lighting liturgies focusing on the Advent themes of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love.
As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. – John 15:9-12 (NRSV)
The holiday we have set aside for love is Valentine’s Day. While it is important to recognize and celebrate our human relationships, our Valentine love is a mere reflection of what love truly is.
True love is hard. It means choosing someone else over ourselves. It means being loving even when we don’t feel like it. It is wanting the joy of the other to be complete.
Our love cannot live up to these expectations without sometimes falling short. Maybe that is why Jesus invites us to abide in his love. For it is only out of Christ’s love for us, a love that is unfailing as it bears, believes, hopes, and endures all things, that we understand love at all. Without this abiding, we are untethered in the world grasping at love wherever we can find it.
As we light this candle of love, we proclaim that the love of Christ never fails. We are engrafted into it so that we become defined Christ’s love. It is a part of us.
It is the light of this love that guides us through our lives. It shines within us when all else seems to fail. It shines through us when we think have nothing left to give. It is the Bread of Heaven and the Cup of Salvation, nourishing us, body and soul.
When we do not abide in Christ's love, we are untethered in the world grasping at love wherever we can find it. #Love #Advent Click To Tweet
 c.f. 1 Corinthians 13:7-8