Matthew 1:18-25 CEB
Oh my, it's the fourth week of Advent already? Where has the time gone. Advent is the four Sundays leading up to Christmas. Each Sunday has it's own theme to focus on. The themes are Hope, Peace, Joy & Love. Finally, after weeks of meditations we are near the end. Today we talk about love.
What is there to say about love that hasn't already been said? Even I feel like I am sometimes beating a dead horse when I want to talk about the subject. I am sure we could all Google 'love' and find a wide range of discussions on the subject ranging from Christian to 'get your kids out of the room, that's not what I meant to Google.'
Today, I think there is space to talk about love as the act of giving up power. Both Frosty and Joseph show what love is through this loss of power. For Frosty, most of the journey didn't need Karen accompanying him. His survival was hindered by her presence. Think about it: If she had stayed at the train station, and never joined Frosty on his trip to the North Pole, what would have happened? Frosty would have taken the train all the way to the North Pole. With Karen, Frosty is given, on two occasions, an opportunity to be selfish or selfless. In both cases Frosty puts Karen's needs above his own and shows what selfless love looks like.
Joseph, as well, was given an opportunity to be selfish or selfless. His actions following the visit from the angel, was completely counter-productive to his place in society. As I mentioned last week, quietly divorcing Mary might have been better than being stoned to death, but it would have left Mary an outcast with a child for the rest of her life. It would have socially hindered Joseph to stay with Mary. He gave up power for the sake of love.
This is where we are today. Are we willing to sacrifice, even a little, for the sake of love? I am reminded of a blog I read months ago and was inspired to respond to:
The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has communion every time they gather as a worshipping body. Anderson Campbell hit the nail on the head. Every time we sit at the table we have a hierarchy, whether spoken or not. The point is, love is not easy. Love requires sacrifice from all sides. We want love that doesn't hurt or require us to change but that kind of love just doesn't exist. It never has. Jesus showed us sacrificial love to an extreme. We will get to during Lent. So we end Advent with the promise of love. What should you do with this? Our world is a fractured mess. Find someone to connect with and sacrifice for. Reconnect love this Christmas season.
This is the conclusion to an ongoing series on Advent.
Advent Goes to the Movies
Christmas Hope: It's a Wonderful Life
Christmas Peace: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
Christmas Joy: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
There will be no meditation next Thursday. Enjoy your Christmas and see you again in the new year!