SERMON TITLE: “The Gift of Love”
SERMON TEXT: Matthew 1:18-25
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: December 20, 2020, at First UMC
Over the past three weeks, as we made our way around the Advent wreath, we lit the candles of Hope, Peace, and Joy. Today, Eliseo, Jenny, Abegail, and Aaron have led us in the lighting of the fourth candle of Love. Like the other Advent words, “love” is a powerful concept that tells us something about the God we worship and about what our lives should be like, as people of Christian faith.
In my email this past week, I was glad to receive a link to a video created in the Michigan Conference of the United Methodist Church. The video is a children’s Christmas Eve worship service called “The ABCs of Christmas.”1 The 14-minute worship service features children and their parents telling about the Christmas story and its meaning using words from A to Z. I posted that video to our church’s Facebook page on Friday. If you haven’t noticed it yet, I hope you will take time after today’s worship service to check it out and share it with some children you know.
A couple of things in that video had to do with love. In the section for the letter L, a boy asks the question, “I wonder how you know God loves you?” And in the section for the letter Z, for Zeal, a little girl asks the question, “I wonder who you can share God’s love with?”
Our topic today is love. Unlike Luke’s version of the Christmas story, which focuses on Mary’s experience, Matthew chapter one tells the Christmas story from Joseph’s perspective. Reflecting on this Christmas story from Joseph’s viewpoint, let’s wonder what it means to receive and share the gift of love.