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His Name is Love

I am the handmaid of the Lord, let what you have said be done to me
2 Samuel 7:1-5,8-12,14,16; Psalm 89:2-5,27-29; Romans 16:25-27; Luke 1:26-38

Sermon Week Fourth Sunday of Advent Cycle B

Scripture Summary Luke 1:38

Many years ago, Mark Twain wrote the following Christmas Holiday message in a New York City daily newspaper. -1

It is my heart-warm and world-embracing Christmas hope and aspiration that all of us -- the high, the low, the rich, the poor, the admired, the despised, the loved, the hated, the civilized, the savage -- may eventually be gathered together in a heaven of everlasting rest and peace and bliss -- except the inventor of the telephone.

I daresay if Twain were alive today, he might instead deny "everlasting rest and peace and bliss" to the inventors of Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok! Of course, the Good News of the Christmas Event is that there are no exceptions to God's Love for His human creatures -- not even the inventors of social media! In and through the Lord Jesus Christ, God became one of us to tell us that He loves every one of us, without exception.

Christmas was not just a starlit night in Bethlehem; it had been behind the stars forever.

There was Christmas in the heart of God when He made the earth and then gave it away to us.

There was Christmas in the heart of God when He sent us His prophets.

There was Christmas in the heart of God when He sent His Son to earth and gave Him to us.

As Jesus grew up, there was Christmas wherever He went -- giving sight, giving food, giving life -- for Christmas is giving.

But Christmas is also for receiving. In John's Gospel, it says, "... to all who received Him ... He gave power to become children of God." (John 1:12).

"To all who received Him!" When we take those words seriously, we begin to understand that receiving can be even more important than giving. It is when we truly receive Christ that we truly experience the gift that is Christmas. It is when we truly receive Christ that the Christmas Spirit endures, for Jesus said, "Know that I am with you always" (Matthew 28:20). It is when we truly receive Christ that we [...]

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