I'm a day later "lighting" this candle than the previous three. But the reason for the delay is well worth it because it has everything to do with this week's theme of Love. I was with my extended family for a very special, if not difficult time as we celebrated my brother Steve's life. Love for family was definitely very present during the weekend and evident through the laughter and tears.
Advent season is holds a very special place in my heart. I enjoy the progression of the weeks through the candles for Hope, Peace, Joy and now Love. As I've pondered them, they've grown deeper for me and caused me to reflect more on the entrance of God into humanity. I find it's a subject we've often glossed over in my past and it makes me want to pause and linger at the manger. The memory of my own family, gathered to celebrate a life lived and lost, adds even more depth to the Love given that night so long ago.
Before love can be reflected out to anyone else, it must be received and embraced on a personal level. It has to engage our hearts so we grasp how deep the Love represented by this fourth candle is. And it's rooted in the kind of family bonds that just can't be broken. Love came down as part of God's master plan to enter humanity and rescue his family. That's what I see when I light this candle. That's what I experienced when we gathered to remember my brother.
The Crooked Path is grounded in Love like no other. It's rarely as easy or pleasant as we wish, but it sits on Love and leads to Love. It gathers the Hope, Peace and Joy that sustains us and carries us to the best part ... the Love that knows no boundaries or limits. May your Advent Wreath burn brightly as you anticipate the arrival of Love this year.