Editor's Note: Each week of Advent, Eric D. Huntsman will share the scriptures and carols that his family uses in our celebration of Advent. Whether you choose to actually observe Advent yourself, we hope that these scriptures will provide you with a source of meaningful reflection this Christmas season.
The theme of the second Sunday of Advent is dedicated to love. Love permeates every aspect of the Christmas story: God so loved the world that he send his Only Begotten Son, and Jehovah so loved us that he deigned to become the Babe of Bethlehem — and later, as the man Jesus, to suffer, die, and rise again for us. Christmastime is a season when love of God and of our fellowmen and women fills us all, but the real challenge is to continue feeling and showing that love when Christmas is over so that it fills the entire year.
After relighting the previous week’s candle, we then light a second purple candle and read passages of scripture that reflect this love, then and now. Such passages include the following:
Discussions of the week’s theme can then be connected directly to the Christmas story by reading the account of the Annunciation to Mary from Luke 1:26–38. The beautiful story of the young Mary’s meek acceptance of the message given her by Gabriel reflects the loving devotion that we should all feel toward God. There are several familiar carols that sing of the love that we have for God and Jesus. Some of my favorites are “Oh Come, All Ye Faithful,” which bids us in each chorus to “come and adore him,” and “O Holy Night,” which reminds us that he taught us to love one another even as it calls upon us to praise his holy name.
Eric D. Huntsman is an associate professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University and is the author of "Good Tidings of Great Joy: An Advent Celebration of the Savior's Birth" published by Deseret Book.