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Love Shines Bright

The Christmas Season.  It’s the most wonderful time of the year, right?  It’s the happ-happiest season of all, at least according to Andy Williams as he croons over the radio.  Well, at least it’s supposed to be.   Right???

Sadly, many people would say, if they were given the chance, that Christmas and especially this time of waiting called Advent, is the loneliest time of the year.  It may be lovely out, with lights and snow and music.  It may be a time filled with gatherings and parties meant to bring happiness to this time of year.  But…

Even in the lovely, there are the lonely.  These are the ones whose memories make them long for a love lost, a love never ending, a love like the LOVE that came down at Christmas in the coming of the Baby Jesus.

A love that feels like home.

Pain and loss hit home when we start to remember how we’ve loved, or dreamed of love.

Love is patient.

Love is kind.

Love never ends.

This waiting time of year can awaken us to the places of unfulfilled love, a longing we often can’t understand as we celebrate surrounded by friends and family.

Maybe this feeling of longing comes from our unending longing for our eternal home where, only when we see Jesus face to face, we will no longer feel homesick for His arms of unconditional love around us.

The prophet Isaiah spoke clearly this feeling of longing for that eternal love two thousand plus years ago. In a very different time, the longing of the human heart was the same.

As we light the Second Candle of Advent, the candle symbolizing the eternal love of God for us, we read responsively from Isaiah 9…

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light.

On those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.

For to us a child is born.

To us a Son is given.

The government shall be on his shoulders.

And he will be called Wonderful Counselor,

Mighty God,

Everlasting Father,

Prince of Peace!

Until we are home in His arms of love, we wait and long for His coming.

Come Lord Jesus!

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