Advent: Becoming Love

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Through Advent I will be sharing some thoughts pertaining to how the weekly lectionary scriptures are speaking into our family and the families we gather with every week.

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One way to celebrate Advent is the four weekly themes of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. As we approach this fourth Sunday of Advent, may we be postured to receive the Love of Christmas. 

There’s much talk about love, but it seems love can’t be defined or described by talk. Love is described in its becoming. Love is a verb. Incarnation describes love well; God becoming flesh. Emmanuel. God fully with us.  

God is love, 1 John 4 tells us, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in them.  But there is more than a description of love in 1 John, it is also a calling. The practice of becoming love is the calling of all those who wish to know God. “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” I suppose then, if we want know God, we ought to practice becoming love. 

God is love. Let’s not define God any differently. God is love. Wherever there is love, there is God.

Discovering God as eternally active love has also radically changed the way I see self and the world. I have opened more of my own life to receiving and being formed by this Love. The invitation to holiness expands with Love holding the door, Jesus’ passion for others becomes tangible around the Love-table, and the role of the Church finds its place in the neighborhood.

How are we becoming love? Are we abiding in Love? Is Love being perfected in us?

In the first few paragraphs of Richard Rohr’s book Divine Dance he ponders on why there is such a lack of Trinitarian doctrine among Christians. Rohr writes, “Could this absence help us understand how we might still be in the infancy stage of Christianity? Could it help explain the simple ineffectiveness and lack of transformation we witness in so much of the Christian world? When you are off at the center, the whole edifice is quite shaky and unsure of itself.”

I confess, there is something about the language and image of Christianity being “in the infancy stage” that gives me new hope. Love is still and actively becoming. There is also something hopeful about the Infant of Christmas. His Kingdom has only just begun.

In this week of Love. May we be a community who practices becoming love. 

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