I John 3:11, 16-18
For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
I John 4:7-9, 16-19
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.
So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is - so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love because he first loved us.
Advent Reading: Advent Reality in Love by Dr. Stephen Isaac
In His first Advent, Jesus came to reveal to us who God is. His revelation - God is love. God is not a God who uses His “God of the Universe” power to unjustly judge, hurt, shout, or impose senseless laws and endless rules. Rather, God is the one who created heaven and earth—the God of love, of mercy, and the Word who became flesh so that whoever believes in Him would never die. God is the little child of the woman we know as Mary. God is the man of sorrows who suffered death for the sin of the world, so that through Him the world might be saved.
The message and mission of Jesus the Messiah is to announce the Good News to the poor, to free the captives, give sight to the blind, and liberate all people who have been oppressed. The love of God is to make known to those who have been rejected, marginalized, and left behind to make it on their own, “I love you. You are loved by my Father, and you will never be alone” Jesus is not navigating political narratives or social networks here. But rather, He is purposefully connecting with real human-beings (His creation), where each person has a place; every man, woman and child - ability or disability, rich or poor. He fiercely loves equally those with and those without. Here is a great biblical example of that kind of love.
Jesus tells the world the truth about life, love, justice, and the mercy He created when He says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Me." His written Word says, "This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." Finally the Word of God declares His greatest promise to humankind. “But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him; and His righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep His covenant to do His commandments.”
So, it is not surprising when Jesus says to Peter, “I am not going to force you: if you do not want Me to wash your feet - you can go.” Peter does not understand. He does not realize what Jesus has said to him, he has said out of a generous and loving heart. Do we understand the heart and love of Jesus?
Once Jesus finished washing the feet of the disciples, he sat down and said: “Do you understand what I have done? You called me Lord and Master, and so I am. If I have washed your feet, you must wash each other’s feet. I have done this as an example for you.”
This is the only place in the entire Gospel where Jesus says, “I have done this as an example. What I have done to you, you must do one to another.” Then he said, “Amen, amen, I say to you. The servant is not more important than the master. The one who is sent is not more important than the one who sends. If I have done this for you, you must do this one to another. Know this: if you do it, your action will become a blessing for you.”
Jesus loves us so much that he kneels in front of us so that we may begin to trust and love ourselves, as well as one another. As Jesus washes our feet, he is saying, “I love you. You are important to me.” Jesus kneeling in front of each one of us is saying, “You are precious to Me. You are valued, and I want you to trust in Me because you can do remarkable things for the kingdom. You can give life; you can bring peace, you can give love. I want you to discover how important you are, and all I am asking is that you believe in who I made you to be; you are a beloved child of God.”
This is the humility of Jesus: He kneels at our feet - yet we cannot fully understand or accept it. This is Jesus - this is the love of God. The Advent is learning to discover not so much when He is coming, but rather fully discovering who He is, and how much He loves us. God's infinite love for us will always bring Him back for us. This is His promise to believers, this is His love poured out for us, this is who He is. God is love.
Advent Candle – Light the back candle to your left and ask all to read together…
We light the candle of Love as we proclaim the Advent of our Savior and deliverer Jesus Christ! Until He returns we will shine His light and proclaim the love of God to all humankind. For we are sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. So in His love, we proclaim that Christ Jesus the light of the world – is coming again!
We are a Bible teaching Christian church in Peoria, AZ. We love God and teach His Truth. We invite you, your family and friends to join us on the faith journey, growing closer to one another, the Christian community of believers at Reunion, and most importantly with God. Read more about the timeless Truth we build our lives and faith in Christ on HERE.
We are conveniently located just off the 101 on 83rd Ave and Cactus Rd. Join us on Sunday mornings, Weds. evenings, and throughout the week at our small groups, meeting in homes around the Valley, including Surprise, Glendale, Peoria, Phoenix, Goodyear, Litchfield, and more. Connect with us on Facebook and watch our live streaming service on YouTube.