May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.
1 Thessalonians 3:12
Hope That Increases Love
The weeks before Christmas are called Advent—it’s a Latin word that means “coming.” Advent invites us to wait—quietly and patiently for Jesus to come this Christmas. But do you know how hard it is to wait? Holiday times are hectic and stressful. We sing “Joy to the World,” but family fighting, overspending, and physical exhaustion steal our joy and drain our love. Toys don’t work without batteries. Smart phones die without an overnight charge. Cars don’t run without gas. When we get impatient or speak sarcastically, it shows our supply of love is running on empty.
But what if God could give the kind of holiday love that actually increases your love and patience in the coming days before Christmas? Would that help as you wait? Would that make it easier for others to be around you? God wants to fill you up with his love. Every day before Christmas, we remember why we are looking so forward to celebrate Jesus’ birth. His tiny hands and feet born at Christmas were the same hands and feet that died on the cross. Now, the living Jesus is just the proof that we need, “God will always love me!”
As you head into the first weekend of December, hear the voice of Advent encourage, “Wait, slow down a bit! Don’t get entangled in the hustle and the bustle of the season. Get focused instead on what really matters. It’s Jesus.” Love is God’s gift to you. Christ’s love makes it possible for our hearts to brim over in love and patience to others like our children or spouse, our siblings or coworkers, our friends and neighbors.
While you patiently wait for Christmas to come, pray that God would so fill our hearts, souls, and minds that we want to then share this love with someone who is empty inside and desperately in need of love. No outside love can fill that void. Only Jesus and his love can!
Dear Lord, as we wait for your coming, supply what you know is lacking inside us. Deepen our faith and fill us with your love so that our love increases for you and for others. Amen.