Yesterday was the fourth Sunday in Advent. The theme for the day was love, which always makes me think of the Christina Rossetti poem, “Love Came Down at Christmas.” This simple, direct poem was first published in 1885. It has been set to music but is not usually considered a Christmas favorite.
- Love came down at Christmas, Love all lovely, Love Divine,
- Love was born at Christmas, Star and Angels gave the sign.
- Worship we the Godhead, Love Incarnate, Love Divine,
- Worship we our Jesus, But wherewith for sacred sign?
- Love shall be our token, Love be yours and love be mine,
- Love to God and all men, Love for plea and gift and sign.
As we enter the final week of preparation for Christmas – preparing our hearts and homes for the coming of Christ – this idea of love incarnate is a powerful one. At Christmas, God showed his love for all of us by sending himself wrapped as a baby in a manger. Incarnate means “made flesh.” Jesus is God in bodily form: God so that we can see him, touch him, talk to him. Love came down at Christmas. Love in the flesh. What a spectacular gift!
Yesterday was the last Sunday in Advent. Next Sunday is Christmas Day. We have now spent four weeks preparing for the arrival of God in-the-flesh. How are you doing in the love department? Have you noticed that, generally, people are nicer and more generous around Christmas? Despite the craziness of the season, we take time for the things that are most important: worship, family, friends. Has love been your token? Is love the gift you are giving and receiving?
God sent us a gift of love wrapped in swaddling clothes. God sent himself to live among us and teach us the true meaning of love. Love came down at Christmas. May we be forever changed because of this gift of love.