The second candle on the Advent Wreath for Christians during this holiday season is the candle of Love. This week’s candle stands boldly on the foundation of hope that precedes it. The strength of God’s steady purpose rises with the new flame we will light on Sunday. And this is an important reminder these days.
The Christmas season can be such a festive time of year. We can also be overwhelmed with events to attend and parties to go to. Busy or not, the backdrop for the second week of the Advent remains this mysterious and powerful emotion, this many splendored thing, this gift from God we call love – given to us, flowing through us, renewed in us and to be offered from us. The love we receive, God intends for us to give away.
In his musical “The Children of Eden,” Stephen Schwartz captures this dynamic well. As he speaks about the love of a parent to a growing child, notice the flowing, growing and vulnerable nature of love:
The Hardest Part of Love
As a child I found a sparrow that fallen from its nest,
And I nursed it back to health till it was stronger than the rest.
But when I tried to hold it then, it pecked and scratched my chest
Till I let it go.
And I watched it fly away from me with its bright and selfish song.
And a part of me was cursing that I had helped it grow so strong.
And I feared it might go hungry and I feared it might go wrong, Oh…
But you cannot close the acorn once the oak begins to grow.
And you cannot close your heart to what it fears and needs to know.
That the hardest part of love,
And the rarest part of the love,
And the truest part of love…
Is the letting go…
- Stephen Schwartz, music and lyrics, Children of Eden, 1996
Today, may you risk the gift of love – be vulnerable; let go; give – just as God does everyday to and for us. As Christians light the candle of love this Sunday, may this remarkable power burn bright in the hearts and lives of us all. Doing so can change everything.
PRAYER FOR THE WEEK:
Inspire my responses to your love this week O God. Grant me the wisdom to pass forward this priceless gift to all you place in my path. And may the abundance of my blessings be a blessing to others. Amen.