One Christmas carol sings, “let every heart prepare him room.” This is the essence of Advent – to prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus. Throughout these four weeks we seek to welcome Christ, our Emmanuel.
Today is Black Friday. The spirit of today is pretty much the opposite of the spirit of Christmas. Where Christmas is about giving and loving, today is too often about taking and getting. People do things today that they would not normally do – get up really early, stand in long lines, rush and battle to get by the next guy, and sometimes become rude and obnoxious to secure that super special bargain. And in some ways these two events are also similar. There is excitement and anticipation in the air. One is often there to get a gift for someone else.
In today’s passage Paul prays for God to increase, bless, and strengthen their love for one another. It is through this love that they grow to share God’s love with others. He knew that the more they loved, the more others would come to know God’s love as well. Paul also knew that this pattern of loving others would deepen the Thessalonian’s faith too.
As we seek to prepare our hearts this Advent season, may we also do so by finding ways to love others more deeply. Maybe that is by including someone on the fringe in your gathering or outing. Maybe that it is by bringing some food to the neighbor or friend who is struggling. Maybe it is by visiting the widow inthe nursing home. Maybe it is by volunteering to ring a bell. When we do these things, all of heaven and earth sing. When we do these things we bring honor and glory to our King. May Jesus Emmanuel, God with us, lead us to share His love this Advent season!
Scripture reference: 1 Thessalonians 3: 9-13