Our lessons from the Hebrew Scriptures during the season of Advent remind us that, in many ways, God called Israel as his chosen people. However, we are also reminded that, sadly, Israel didn't always choose God. At times, the relationship seemed woefully one sided. More often than not, especially in times of trouble, distractions, temptations, and despair led people away. Perhaps there have been times in your life when you felt like your relationship with God was that way too.
Yet for them and us, God's love endures. Why? Well, there are many parents who will tell you that when a child is disappointing and even sometimes disobedient, the underlying commitment remains. And whether you are a parent or not, a broken heart is the price we sometimes pay for unconditional love.
In this holy season, we see God's love poured out as he sends prophets and then sends his Son in human flesh to dwell among us. We see God's love from the manger to the cross to the empty tomb to our hearts. We see God's love in candles and decorations, word and sacrament, prayer and song, and the support of our brothers and sisters in Christ. By all of these means, God shares our burdens, reaches out with arms of love, and welcomes us home. Amen. Come Lord Jesus.