Fourth Sunday of Advent: Love

Fourth Sunday of Advent: Love
A collaborative art project by the kindergarten and 1st grade class in Metropolitan Ministries’ C.R.E.A.T.E. afterschool program, Tampa, Fla

Micah 5:2-5a, Luke 1:39-45, 46-55

The love of God and the way that our family can sense what is going on with us is what speaks to me in this passage. Elizabeth knows on a deep level that there is something very special about Mary’s child. Sometimes love takes the form of telling others what you see in them, much as Elizabeth does in this passage. Love fills the words she speaks over Mary’s unborn child. 

Mary’s song is usually quoted more, but let us dwell on Elizabeth’s words, on her song. She is consumed in the Spirit and speaks of Mary’s blessed child. Love is not used once in this passage as a word, but you can feel it in the words Elizabeth speaks. She felt the presence of the divine before she even saw Mary, and so did her child. The love shared here, the love of family, the love of God, is deep enough that words are spoken only when they have to be.

Our Own Elizabeth

God loves us so much that God sends our own Elizabeth when we need someone to be there for us. The aunt, the cousin, the member of the prayer circle — their name may not be Elizabeth, but you feel the love they have for you when they walk in the room or call you on the phone. The person who calls you blessed when you least expect it, that person is your Elizabeth.

Micah tells us of God’s love as protection, and of the loving village and nation that would gather around Mary’s child. May we, like Jesus’ early followers, be more like Elizabeth — and call one another blessed and shine a light upon those who may not know the blessing they are to those around them. May we, as we wait for the Christ child, be a blessing to others so that we build up our village, our church and our world together. Love those around you in a way that words can only begin to describe. Be like Elizabeth and help others know they are blessed and loved beyond all words. Don’t keep your blessing to yourself — share it with others so we all may live brighter, more loving lives.

God, we thank you for being here with us as we wait for your child’s birth. Help us to show our love to others and to be patient in our waiting. Amen.

Home Missioner John Jessup Peterson serves as an information technology specialist for Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, GA and is a member of the North Georgia Conference.  

Posted or updated: 12/17/2021 12:00:00 AM

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Advent 2021

November 28: First Sunday of Advent
December 5: Second Sunday of Advent
December 12: Third Sunday of Advent
December 19: Fourth Sunday of Advent
December 24: Christmas Eve
December 31: New Year's Eve