Today we lit the third candle of Advent–the candle of love.
What is love?
There are many ways to define it. I remember as a child enjoying the Peanuts definition – “Love is a warm puppy.” But is that all there is to it?
English can be a challenging language because many times, we only have one word to identify multiple emotions. That’s true of “love.”
When Prince Charles and Princess Diana held their first news conference so many years ago, when someone asked Charles if he was in love with her, he replied “Whatever in love means.” That did not bode well for their marriage–but there is a lot of truth in his statement.
We love ice cream…if you’re a woman, you may love a particular dress…we love the weather…or a sports team…or our spouse…our children…
Do we really know what love is?
The One whose birth we are preparing for came to show us true love…a love so strong that he was willing to give his life for others. Occasionally we see that in other human beings around us. Unfortunately, far too often we settle for an “easy” definition.
But perhaps the best definition–and the challenge–of living in love can be found in a verse often used during weddings. But it’s a good challenge for each of us as we continue our preparation for celebrating the baby who came 2000 years ago–and whose coming we look forward to now:
What if I could speak all languages of humans and of angels? If I did not love others, I would be nothing more than a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
What if I gave away all that I owned and let myself be burned alive? I would gain nothing, unless I loved others.
Love is kind and patient, never jealous, boastful, proud, or rude.
Love isn’t selfish or quick tempered.
It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs that others do.
Love rejoices in the truth, but not in evil.
Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting.
Love never fails!