Advent, Hope & Encouragement

God is Love

This week, I started my Christmas baking by making a batch of my Peppermint Fudge. The recipe has taken me years to get ‘just right’. Typically, I bring samples to the ChristmasFest at our church to the delight of many people, but 2020. Instead, this year, I will be surprising a few friends whom I know love it, with a box delivered to their doorstep. I look forward to making it every year because I love the process and the smiles it brings to others. While making my first batch, I thought about the great chef Lidia Bastianich. I loved watching her cooking shows on PBS and learned a lot about cooking by watching and listening to her. I distinctly remember one show in which she was making homemade pappardelle. As she was mixing the pasta dough by hand she said ‘cooking is a labor of love’. She explained it was not just loving the art of cooking but also bringing the intention of creating something delicious for your loved ones. The intentional love is what gets transferred into your food through the cooking process. This is the same intention I have when cooking for my family and friends.

There are many forms of love: affectionate love, friendship love, physical love, etc. However, the New Testament talks a lot about agape {love}. Agape is a Greek word defined as “the highest form of love, it is the unconditional love which only comes from God and Jesus…it transcends and persists regardless of circumstance. It goes beyond just the emotions to the extent of seeking the best for others”  Since God is the source of agape, any love we have for God is simply a response to His sacrificial love for us.”

…God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his one and only Son into the world so that we might live through him. Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice. ~ 1 John 4:8-10

The way we understand love as humans, is incomplete. It is only when we look to Jesus, that we can better understand agape. It is the Truth carried out through our actions, which we have been commanded to do: 

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ, being born of God, and everyone who loves the Father, also loves the one born of him. This is how we know that we love God’s children: when we love God and obey his commands. For this is what love for God is: to keep his commands. And his commands are not a burden, because everyone who has been born of God conquers the world. This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith. ~ 1 John 5:1-4

As we light the third candle of Advent this Sunday, I will be taking some time to reflect on how God showed his agape for me through journaling. How will you take some time to reflect on His agape for you?

Albeit not a traditional Christmas Song, this will be included in my playlist as a reminder of God’s agape

Oh What Love by The City Harmonic

Peppermint Fudge

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