Wednesday, the fourth week of advent devotion comes from Michael Hoy's, "Light of Grace: Devotions for Advent."
In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.
1 John 4:10 NRSV
The light of love shines upon a world turned in upon itself. Looking out for ourselves, and not looking out for others in love, is the root of sin. We are often so self-absorbed that we are not even aware of how dark the darkness is for us. We sometimes do not trust God or turn to God but seek to rely on our own resources and strengths, which ultimately fail us and cast us further into the darness of lovelessness. As such, we are not "one" with God.
But God is love. Even though we are lacking in love, that does not stop God from seeking us out in love. God - in love - sent his Son to make us "one" with God. Into the midst of our darkness and lovelessness, Jesus comes to grace us with God's lasting love and mercy. He gives his loving life for ours so that when God looks upon us, God sees us not through the lens of our sins but through the lens of Jesus' love for us. To put it another way, Jesus came in love to atone for us that we might be at one with God through him.
When we find ourselve low on the love we have to give, we look to the love with which Christ came to grace us. Enriched by the cross, we trust that God now sees us through Christ's love. It is then that we may also reflect Christ's light of love for others. In Christ, we have the victory of love that is won for us - and by which we are one in love.
Lord, may we always trust that your love overcomes the darkness of our lovelessness and sin. Let your light of love reach the darkest corners of our hearts, making them one in your love. Amen.