In John 13:34-35, we find these words from Jesus: A new command I give you: love one another . . . By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
From my “olden days,” I recalled this popular song—”What the world needs now is love, sweet love. It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.”
Seems true today and in the olden days of the time we remember as the Advent season. What is this new love of Advent? For me, the new love of Jesus’ coming brings different expression and action by us as his followers.
First, this love is a gift from God through the birth of Jesus, the Christ Child. The gift is to the world—to you—to me.
Second, the love Mary has for her child shows a love for the vulnerable, the defenseless, and for one who is dependent on her to protect and nurture.
Third, the love we have for others as disciples of the Christ is manifested in how we treat each other. Paul taught us that this love has many qualities beyond what the world demonstrates as love. This is a higher standard of love, a better way, and it includes these qualities: love protects, love trusts, love hopes, love perseveres, and is kind and patient. Can we act in love that does not envy, that does not boast, that does not show pride or rudeness, and that is not easily angered nor keeps a list of wrongs done to us by others?
Yes, I do believe what the world needs now is the love Jesus commanded his disciples to show to others. May we resolve to grow this love in our actions with each other and with the world. As we practice this Advent love, we will bring the kingdom of heaven closer to our world.