LOVE GLOWS AS DAWN DRAWS NEAR: WELCOMING WITH LOVE
Scripture for the Second Sunday of Advent
Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13
2 Peter 3:8-15a
Our scripture readings for this Sunday speak of the promise and the assurance of God’s love. Isaiah assures the people of Jerusalem that God will comfort them, will raise every valley, and will be their caring shepherd. Our Psalm tells of God’s steadfast love and faithfulness, righteousness and peace; all that is good. 2 Peter reminds us that God is ever patient with us, wanting everyone to experience God’s salvation. Mark 1 shares the words of John the Baptist, who promises that God will send the Holy Spirit as our comfort and guide. All of these verses describe the many facets of God’s love- love coming to us as comfort, justice, tenderness, faithfulness, righteousness, peace, patience, and guidance.
God’s love is our theme for this week as we watch for the Dawn of Light. These Bible verses were written for people who were in darkness. Times were difficult. The people were broken and hurting. They needed to know that the Light of love was coming. They needed to know they were loved. The same holds true for us today. We all need God’s love in these often imperfect times, for our imperfect selves.
“I rise to taste the dawn, and find that love alone will shine today.” ~ Ken Wilber
Turn off the lights and sit in darkness for a few minutes…
~In what ways do you feel unlovable? What imperfections do you see in yourself? Were there times this week when you have been unkind, impatient, selfish, judgmental, stubborn, or unforgiving? In what areas of your life do you need God’s merciful, forgiving love?
~In what ways do you feel unloved? Have you been disappointed by certain events in your life; have you been hurt by certain people in your life? Are there wounds from your past that you need God to soothe and mend? In what areas of your life do you need God’s tender, healing love?
Bring these before God and ask God to replace your brokenness with the love in Christ that only God can give.
Light the first candle of Hope and the second candle of Love.
As we were waiting for the sunrise one morning, the sky gradually brightened and turned lovely hues of gold, orange and rose; signs that the sun would soon appear. With this beauty before us, our friend Kurt suggested that we also turn to look behind us. We observed how the light from the early morning cast beauty everywhere. The countryside was covered with a soft, rosy glow. The shadows were softer, the colors were subtle and gentle, and the earth seemed more peaceful. It was as if the tender love of God was covering the entire world.
At the edge of our brokenness and darkness, God meets us with the soft glow of love, promising us that the Dawn is near. We can look ahead to the faint light on the horizon of a new day, and be assured of God’s loving promise for a brighter future. We can look behind us and discover that the coming Dawn is already healing what has been, too. The glow of God’s love ushers in a new day, giving us a new fresh start. The glow of God’s love also gently covers and softens what is behind us, making even the shadows of our past become beautiful.
God who brings us the Dawn of Light,
As we watch and wait for the Dawn, we welcome the glow of your love that brightens today and blesses yesterday. Thank you for showing us how abundantly we are loved, by giving us your Son, Jesus, as the Dawn of Light. This week, guide us to live as your tender and merciful love in the world. Amen