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Fourth Candle of Advent 2020: Love

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

God's love holds nothing back! Love is like a light shining in dark places. Lighting this fourth candle of Advent we celebrate the love we find in Jesus Christ.

This Enduring Love

This love endures

present in each moment

whatever that moment brings

joy, the simple joy of kindness

the complex joy of love

comfort, the gentle touch of normalcy

escape from ravaging pain

satisfaction, from the quenching of a thirst

to the consummation of a dream

care, lifting a burden

resuscitating a heart, broken or damaged

even death fails to

separate us from

this enduring love

For much of my life I have thought of love as a state of being. We often speak, for instance, of falling in love. But I have come to think of love much more as an active verb. To be loving is to love. Jesus, the Christ, is an act of God's love -- God's love entering our time and place.. And our acts of kindness, empathy, service, and even worship are acts of love.

As Christmas approaches, how can we make our love active? How many people do we know need love to enter their lives? What can we do (even in a pandemic, or because there is a pandemic) that will be a response to God's enduring love, that is a Christmas gift of love? How can we be a light in the darkness of this time?

Light in the Darkness

To witness splendor, we must have light

Whence comes the light

From glorious acts of love and creation

With fire comes the light

The refiner’s fire, not simply a source of light

But light rendering purity

Light penetrates the darkness

Light hides the shadows

Light guides us to peace


Be sure to let your family and friends know that the Colchester Area Advent Series will be broadcast every Sunday evening in Advent at 5 pm on LCATV (Cable Channel 15).


Peace be with you,

Pastor Russ

Candle photo credit: Photo by Amelie Niklas Ohlrogge

Christmas Cross photo credit: Photo by Russell E. Willis

Poems by Russell E. Willis

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