Alina Kanaski, Senior M.Div. Student at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Scripture

John 3:16-21

16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

17 "Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. 20 For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. 21 But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God."

Devotional

Jesus was sent into the world—not just sent, but born, born into a human body to save humanity. The eternal light, the Word, was born into flesh. We celebrate that miracle even as we mourn what we know is coming. Death comes out of life, life of death. A circle, broken by Jesus’ death and resurrection—a break started by a simple moment where a mother looked down at her newborn son.

Her newborn son—the light of the world. The promised Messiah. Light come to drive out darkness, and all for love. A love greater than a mother’s for her child, greater than a husband’s for his wife, or a wife’s for her husband, greater than their love of their God in whom they placed their faith by agreeing to be together despite it all. A love greater than we can imagine and greater than we can comprehend. A love that encompasses the whole world.

That is what this child is born out of. That is the kind of love that Jesus is, the kind of love that drives out darkness and the kind of love that wants to save far more than it wants to condemn. It is the kind of love that leads to total sacrifice.

Prayer

God of light, we bask in Your light and Your love this Advent, reminded of the manifestation of Your love. Give us the courage to come into the light and believe in the name of Your son. Amen.