Date: December 19, 2021

Bible Text: Ephesians 3:10-21, Luke 1:39-56 |


We come to the fourth and final week of Advent, the season of preparation for the feast of Christmas, and we reflect on how Christ's birth in history, his coming into our lives, and his coming in power at the end of all things can give birth to faith in us. Each week we are considering that faith from a different angle. So far we have covered Hope, Peace, and Joy, and this week is Love. Love is, of course, the non-possessive delight in the particularities of the other (per Dr. James E. Loder). It is born through the experience of being loved and the profound recognition of the worth of the other. These are at the heart of God's work in Christmas and every day.

Also today, we will dedicate our pledges of time, action, and financial support for the congregation's mission and ministry in 2022. We also have several pieces of special music in the service. It should be a good day. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Notes from the Preacher

Here are a couple links if you want to explore some of the things in the sermon.

Gary Chapman's Five Love Languages

Painting of Mary and Elizabeth meeting, "socially distanced"; but apparently I haven't seen enough pictures of them, because several of these are much warmer and closer.

James Loder's definition of love: "the non-possessive delight in the particularities of the other": from The Logic of the Spirit: Human Development in Theological Perspective (San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass, 1998), 266-267.

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