Today is the Second Sunday in Advent. Pull out your worksheet that you downloaded last week to spend 10-15 minutes interacting with this material. (You can download the worksheets in Letter or A4 below.)
Another great virtue of the early church was compassion. To be compassionate means “to suffer with”. You may be wondering what suffering might have to do with Advent, but I believe it reveals the essence of true love. Christ suffered to become human, suffered in solidarity with us, suffered to reclaim humanity and creation, and therefore, the Church, Christ’s present body on earth, is also called ‘to suffer with’ those who suffer. Compassion is the ultimate act of love and as Christians we are to be known by our love (John 13:35, NIV).
Each moment we choose to love each other—our enemy, our neighbor, our family, our friends, our co-workers, strangers, widows, orphans, prisoners, and the poor—we are putting on compassion and giving a glimpse of God’s Kingdom being manifested here on earth; we are imitating Christ. When we love as Christ loved the world, God’s presence is made known.
The second week of Advent, we light the candle of love. Spend this week soaking in 1 John 4 and asking the Holy Spirit to help you grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ (Ephesians 3:18). We prepare for Advent by being open to receive God’s love in order to be Christ’s love in our present age. We are preparing to emulate the love of Christ.
1 John 4:7-12, 16-17 (NIV)
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. […] God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus.
We’ve also created a short worksheet for each week, so that you can interact with the material instead of merely reading it. Each worksheet should take 10-15 minutes (or more if you want!). You can get the worksheet in Letter or A4. Take yours out and fill out this week’s section or download it below.
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