This Sunday, two days before Christmas, is the Fourth Sunday of Advent. The theme is Love. Many of us are busy with our last preparations for Christmas. Advent is meant to be a season of spiritual preparation. It seems that more than ever we need to be “Preparing for the Greatest Gift of Love” that came in the birth of The Christ Child.

A season of preparing for Hope, Peace, Joy and this greatest gift of love is paramount to our emotional and spiritual well-being. A Facebook post by Phyllis, a Covenant Board Member, highlights why our personal spiritual preparation and Covenant’s Mission to “Care about one another in Christ” are needed. She writes, “I want to recognize that Christmas isn’t so cheery for some of my friends: Estrangement from family, death of loved ones, and sometimes just depression and anxiety cause Christmas to be a tough time to get through. I’m saying a prayer and sending positive energy and light to my friends for whom this applies – you know who you are. You are loved, and you matter to me.”

“You are loved, and you matter to me.” These are the same words that “The Greatest Gift of Love” was born into this world to bring from our Loving God. As I write this, I’m in Atlanta at Emory Hospital across the street from where I spent so much time a few years back with Savion. I’m here with a family member who has received a devastating diagnosis this week of an acute form of leukemia as did Savion. “You are loved, and you matter to (God and) me” are the words, along with my presence that I have come to bring my dear Cousin as she prepares to face an uncertain Christmas this year.

As you are making your last preparations for Christmas, I invite you to include “Preparing for the Greatest Gift of Love” Jesus, by worshipping with us at Covenant this Fourth Sunday of Advent. My sermon is “Preparing for the Greatest Gift of Love” based on “Luke 1:39-55.

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