Omnia vincit amor. Love conquers all. This Latin phrase was first coined by the Augustan poet, Virgil. It feels strange to use the word “conquer” in conjunction with the word “love” during the Christmas season, a time when words of war do not seem to belong in our vocabulary. When we think of love, we may think of the people we care about, the affection or feeling of loving someone.
The promise of the Messiah was a message of rescue, of victory over the enemy. When Gabriel told Mary she would bear the Christ child, he told her she would bring a king into the world and that his Kingdom would never end. When Jesus was born, Mary and Joseph rejoiced, angels celebrated, and shepherds searched for this new savior. Love had entered the world. When Jesus was presented at the temple, Simeon’s blessing included words of prophecy to Mary, “and a sword will pierce through your own soul also” (Luke 2:34-35).
A sword will pierce through your own soul also. We celebrate the coming of Jesus as happy time, but there is an aspect to his coming that must not be forgotten. Jesus was born to die. His birth was the beginning of his conquest over sin. He came out of love, as love, to show love by dying on the cross. He was and is the perfect embodiment of love and when he entered the world and later when he died on the cross and rose again, he conquered sin and death and pain and sorrow and heartache.
As you celebrate this season, remember how Christ chose to love his people in the best way anyone can be loved. His is a love that cannot be overcome for it has already conquered the things of this world.
On this Sunday, we encourage you to light four candles – the first reminding us of the hope of Christ, the second reminding us of his peace, the third of his joy, and the fourth candle reminds us to anticipate the love Christ brings to the world. With your family or community, read through some or all of the Scriptures for this Sunday and light the candles for Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love.
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
Who is the person or group of people that you find most difficult to love? How can you practice loving them better?
Pray this prayer throughout the day. Every time you sit down at a meal or sit at a red light breathe this prayer:
Father, show me your love and help me to show that love to others.