Column — Advent week four: The gift of love

Published 10:00 am Saturday, December 25, 2021

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Jean Wise shares a wonderful story of her childhood: “I was 7 years old and helping my dad rake the fall leaves. I pushed the foliage toward him, and he swept them into the bonfire.

I twirled and played in the small piles. I got closer to the fire with each spin. A spark touched the edge of my coat. For a second, I just watched the flame grow, not fully realizing the danger. When the heat burnt my skin, I panicked and started to run. My dad grabbed me and, pushing me down onto the cool grass, he rolled me back and forth until the fire went out. My dad’s quick action saved me.

I never forgot that scary day catching fire and my dad protecting me. My instinct to run was second nature in a threatening emergency, but only served to fuel the blaze. My dad knew how to save me.

As Christ followers we can take comfort in knowing that our father knows how to save us too. Until Jesus came to earth, we were destined to be eternally, separated from God. He loves us so much; He allowed his son, Jesus Christ to be born 100% human and 100% God. He walked the face of the earth loving humankind through healing, deliverance, forgiveness and unearned grace. To his very death he paid the price for each one of us so that we may have eternal access to our God. He loved us so much that He gave us His Son!

John spoke of God’s great gift before the people knew their Savior. “The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah. John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” And with many other words John exhorted the people and proclaimed the good news to them.” (John 3:15-18)

This very minute people are waiting expectantly and wondering what will happen if they die? Where might they go? As Christ followers we have the answers to those questions. We have the power within us to “exhort the people and proclaim the good news to them.” May we not only receive this great gift of love, but may we share it to all who are expectantly waiting.

Yvette Perrin can be reached at