Sunday, December 18
As we begin this week that is all about love, let’s start with a definition. One source says that to love someone or something is to “like or enjoy [it] very much.” If that’s true, then it’s easy to see why we use the word the way we do. If you “like or enjoy’’ being with friends, watching sports, or baking, you love those things.
The Bible provides a very different and more robust picture of “love.” The New Testament, originally written in Greek, uses multiple words for love, depending on the author’s intent. C.S. Lewis wrote about “The Four Loves.”
Eros (Long O, soft S) is the word used to describe romantic love.
Philia describes sibling-like love shared between peers.
Storge (Store-Guh) depicts the love parents have for their children.
Agape (Uh-Gah-Pay)is the sacrificial love that comes from God.
So what does this have to do with Advent?
Jesus’ birth brought this fourth love, Agape, to earth. But it goes further than that.
He didn’t just bring love, he IS love.
As we continue learning about the love of God made visible through the birth and life of his only Son, remember this: “Love” was never meant to be a watered-down, worn out word used to describe everything we enjoy.
No… Love—biblical love—is powerful and significant, and we understand it best by looking to Jesus and giving our lives to him.
THE LIGHTING OF THE ADVENT CANDLES:
Have one member of the family light the first purple candle. The candle of Hope!
Have one member of the family light the second purple candle. The candle of Peace! Third purple candle for Joy and pink candle for Love.
December 18: Matthew 2:13-18
Talk about these questions with your family or group.
- What are the ways we see in this reading that Joseph loved Mary and Jesus?
- What are the ways that God speaks to us today?
Teens & Adults:
- Pretty strange way to start a week focusing on Love, right? Where do we see examples of Love in this story?
- We talked about the different words and forms of Love. Can you see anything that Herod loved?
- One of the ways that Joseph showed his love for God was through Dramatic Obedience. What is something you can do today to show dramatic obedience to Jesus?
- That God’s love would inspire us to love well this week
- That we would do what God is leading us to do
- That we would sacrifice for those we love