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The Ultimate Gift
Have you ever noticed that the order of the advent candles is the same order as the first four fruits of the spirit, only in reverse? The first four fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace and patience. The advent candles, when you reverse the order are love, joy peace and hope (and being hopeful requires patience). And so as we have gone through the order of the advent candles this season, we are also working our way backwards through the fruits of the Spirit to the primary fruit of the Spirit, which is love.

…the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:5

Sunday School children, even before they can read, learn the simple statement: God is Love. And we older, more literate folks find, over and over in scripture, that

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.
1 John 4: 9-11

Jesus came to love, he preached love, and he died and resurrected for love’s sake! As Christians, the best thing we can give to the world is God’s love. The words to a song in our hymn book expresses this well:

He came singing love
And he lived singing love;
He died singing love,
He arose in silence.
For the love to go on we must make it our song;
You and I be the singers.
- Words and music Colin Gibson

Let’s be the “singers” starting this Christmas. Let’s give to others the gift God has given so freely to us. If we can’t be with our neighbours in these unusual times, we can pray God’s love to them. Love has changed a lot of people’s lives – it can change their lives…and it can change our lives as we choose to respond to our world by being a conduit for God’s love.

Practice giving love as a gift.

Here are two musical selections with lyrics that touch on these thoughts.

A contemporary piece: Love Came Down

And a traditional hymn: People Look East