Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, loved divine.
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and angel gave the sign.
Christina Georgina Rosetti
The final gift of Advent is love.
Oh, what a gift. But just what is love? Research on line and you will get some diverse answers; Love is patient, an open door, a battlefield, in the air, and last but not least - as Andy Williams crooned it - love is a many splendored thing. While I remember the song, I have no idea what it means. What exactly is a splendored thing and what does love have to do with it?
You could try looking in the dictionary, but Merriam-Webster confuses the matter even further. Technically speaking, love is the score of zero in tennis. So love is zero?
Love can be so confusing. For instance, I love my car and I love desserts, and while I have strong feelings about my red Volvo and tiramisu, I do not have a relationship with these things.
And really that is what love is - love is about caring relationships. A Canadian professor of theology, D. John Hall, says that love is “walking with” another.
To paraphrase another song from the Golden Oldies playlist: God never promises us a rose garden. There will be difficulties and struggles, but they do not have to get the best of us. We are not on our own. We have a promise from God. Read these words and own them… “you are precious in my sight and honored, and I love you.” God flat out tells us God loves us. Being so loved God tells us: “Do not fear, for I am with you!” That is love! No matter what, God so loved the world that God came to be with us, Emmanuel, (which means God-with-us) that is the gift of Advent.