Advent has come and gone. But even as we cling to hope and peace and joy, the heaviness remains. In a time of turmoil and despair, love can seem absent. We can look around and wonder why love isn’t leading.

But the truth we must repeat and remember is that Love came down. In the upside down Kingdom of God, the incarnation itself displayed love in the greatest of ways. Jesus came in the most vulnerable form, in the specific context of Bethlehem, in another historical time of turmoil and despair.

“You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.” Psalm 86:5 (NIV)

The One abounding in love came to us. And the greatest and most powerful Love, full of goodness and mercy, remains with us even now.

Love does not have to be earned. It isn’t something to strive for. Love sees, knows, and meets us where we are.

“Love is patient and kind. Love is never jealous. It does not brag or boast. It is not puffed up or big-headed. Love does not act in shameful ways, nor does it care only about itself. It is not hot-headed, nor does it keep track of wrongs done to it. Love is not happy with lies and injustice, but truth makes its heart glad. Love keeps walking even when carrying a heavy load. Love keeps trusting, never loses hope, and stands firm in hard times. The road of love has no end….But until then, these three remain – faith, hope, and love – and love is the greatest!” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a, 13 (FNV)

Perfect Love came. And now we have the responsibility and opportunity to express love through truly seeing and listening, through responding to needs and speaking up against injustice, through being people who welcome, give, care, advocate, and sacrifice.

We show love with our truth-telling, humility, respect, confession, grace, justice, and reconciliation.

“Above all, never stop loving each other, for like a warm blanket love covers a great number of broken ways.” 1 Peter 4:8 (FNV)

May we find small expressions of love in our local communities. May we lead with love in our words and actions. May we be the love we seek. And may we see Love at work in countless ways throughout the world.