Advent Devotional – Wednesday, Dec. 1

Author: Brittany Fiscus-van Rossum

1 Thessalonians 3:9-13

Reflection: v. 12, ‘love for one another and for all’

In our modern cultural context the Advent and Christmas season has become a time that many of us gather with family and friends. We have cozy Christmas parties with treats and presents at work, at home, and at church. We participate in seasonally themed activities curated to give us warm fuzzies and fond memories. We fill our calendar with visits to see the people we love. Of course there is nothing wrong with any of these practices, particularly as such festivities can evoke that ever-wonderful feeling of the love we have for one another. However, I would challenge the Christian community to remember in this season of preparation and anticipation, that the love we are called to is for more than just our inner-circle. The love we are called to is for more than just our close family and friends. The love we are called to is for more than just our neighborhood, our church, our company, or our country. In his letter to the Thessalonians, Paul implores the early church to remember to abound in love for one another, yes, but also to abound in love for all. This Advent season as we are tempted to nestle into the comfortable patterns of loving our own nearest and dearest, may we be challenged to love in deeper ways too. May we be challenged to love when it is hard and feels little like warm fuzzies. May we be challenged to love when it is different and requires solidarity, empathy, and understanding. May we be challenged to love when it asks of us and requires us to think beyond the scope of our inner-circle of existence. Love can look like many things, but the love of God that we anticipate and pray for in this season is a love that is for all of us.

Prayer May our love overflow beyond just those we know.

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