Advent Week 4: Love
1 John 3.1-2, NRSV
See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what
we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are
God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when
God is revealed, we will be like God, for we will see God as God is.
They got it on tape, the quintessential moment where I am clearly my mother’s
daughter. 24 Christmases ago, I was 3 and still the star of the show as the camera
rolled during those present-opening moments that morning. Without pausing to
take it all in, I went straight for the Disney train set. I pulled Mickey out of the
conductor’s spot and threw him. I grabbed Minnie and set her up royally in the
lead. There. Much better.
That moment, showcasing my tiny feminist self, is immortalized on tape. Proof
that it’s in my blood. I was acting out of that feminism gene before I ever had any
idea what that meant. Mom still has that Minnie; she keeps her displayed in what
used to be my room. She loves that her feminism was built inherently into me.
And I, sometimes disorientingly, keep catching myself acting just like my mom. I
talk to the mirror, give a pretty fierce silent treatment, and sometimes snort when I
laugh. I know where my love of gardening, children, and creating comes from.
There’s profound relief, comfort, belonging in knowing the love that birthed us.
When we have those moments, moments that remind us just how full of our
parents we are, they may be disorienting or shocking or endearing, but they also
remind us who we are.
As children of our parent God, we have moments when we recognize our joy or
creativity or grief as characteristics of our God. We don’t have to do or be
anything other than our true selves, and in so being, we reflect our creator.
Sometimes disorientingly, we remember what a bright light we are capable of
shining, we remember the power of the words we carry, we remember we, like
Mary, are God-bearers.
Prayer: Creator God, we are humbled that you chose to be a part of the human
race. We are humbled that we belong to you. Help us live into those moments
where we recognize your light inside us. Fill us up with joy, courage, and
compassion. Compel us forward, unhindered by our insecurities, fear, falsities,
toward wholeness where we find our identity wrapped up in you. Amen.
Action: Where are you longing for God to enter the world? Where do you wish
God would be? What do you wish God would say? Write about this yearning.
Wonder how you might be present and shine in those places. Maybe even wander
out to those spaces, listening for what God is saying there, paying attention to the
way your parent God is leading you there.
Lesley-Ann Hix Tommey works as marketing associate at The Covenant School and is minister
at Eunoia Christian Community in Charlottesville, VA.