Fourth Week of Advent – Love

Luke 3:1-14 & Zephaniah 3:14-20

Never did I imagine the telegram announcing the birth of my first child would hold up a United States Air Force plane! My brother was stationed in the Azores, a remote island off the coast of Portugal. I had no idea he was suddenly being transported to Iceland (an even more remote island!). The plane was loaded and ready to taxi when the pilot received a message to wait. There was a telegram for an airman on board.

Only four months earlier I had asked the American Red Cross to deliver a message to the same brother of our father’s sudden death. So, even though my brother certainly knew I was expecting a baby, his first reaction was of fear and apprehension. I can only imagine his facial expressions as he read, “It’s a girl, Laura Maree, 8 lb. 2 oz.” She was the first baby among our siblings, and he was ecstatic! He later told me he wanted to shout, “It’s a girl,” but because of the seriousness of the delayed flight, he was embarrassed and afraid to answer the questioning looks of his fellow airmen and superiors. “It’s just a baby,” he sheepishly reported.

For me and my brother, this was a message of love. For others it was simply an irritating delay to an important mission. Centuries earlier, the message announcing the birth of a baby to simple shepherds (Luke 2:11) was a message of love for the whole world. But the world paid little attention. Later, God bypassed all the “important” government leaders and high priests and gave a message to a simple, strange man living in the wilderness (Luke 3:1-2). The world still paid little attention.

Friends, we have a simple message of love. We celebrate the birth of a baby who changed the world. It’s worth shouting about! This was not “just a baby.” This is the Savior of the world. Be proud and shout it out: “For unto us a baby has been born! He is the Messiah, the Lord!”

Let the world pay attention!

– Dianne Swaim


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