An Architecture of Love

Sunday, DECEMBER 24, 2023

Thus says the Lord: Are you the one to build me a house to live in?…Moreover the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me; your throne shall be established forever.

—2 Samuel 7:5,11 (NRSV)

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David.

—Luke 1:26-27 (NRSV)

All of us are builders at heart. As kids we build forts from cardboard. We huddle under blankets thrown over tables. We revel in the discovery of what our hands can make with just Play-Doh or Lego. And so, when King David decided it was time to build God a house for worship (2 Samuel 7:5,11), God turns the tables. God promises that David and his descendants will build a house that would be a strong refuge forever, one built on the tiniest of frames. The child Jesus, born in a stable of the house and lineage of David, would be the sign and the promise of a Kingdom where truth reigns, where hope is reborn. 

Christmas Eve is the call to all of us who long to come home. To be where someone loves us best of all. Where we belong. And that is exactly what God has built for us. An architecture of love whose beauty is deep enough, immense enough for all of us to crawl into with all of our needs and our confusion, our longings and our fears. Big enough to encompass the whole world. Because God’s house of love has come to reconfigure our reality. Though we can’t see the whole of it, in coming to earth God is showing us what love is, and the truth that God will not abandon us, nor this good earth. For look! There in the animal’s feeding trough lies a baby king with healing in his wings.

Practicing Advent Together: 

Here is a chance to share Advent at your Christmas Eve gathering. Whatever you are doing today or wherever you find yourself, invite those around you to join in with the reading and lightning of the Advent candle. 

Turn down the lights, gather around the Advent wreath, and read Luke 2:1-7 aloud.  

Light all four purple candles and read this blessing from The Lives We Actually Have (p. 222) as a prayer:

A Blessing for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

“Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?”
—Matthew 11:3, ESV

God, we are waiting for love,
not the simple kind or the sweep-you-off-your-feet kind,
but the absurd kind.
The kind wrapped in rags,
resting in a bucket of animal feed.

Love enough to save us all.

Blessed are we who look for Love
deeper, fuller, truer—than we have ever known,
than we could have ever hoped for.

Blessed are we who seek you,
the light that dawned so long ago
in that dark stable.

Love given.
Love received.

Receive this gift, dear one.
Love has come for you.


1. What is your favorite Christmas carol? What does it say to you about the meaning of Christmas? 

2. “The hopes and fears of all the years are met in Thee tonight.” This is a line from the Christmas carol, “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” How does Christmas Eve awaken hopes? Fears? Any other longings? 

3. Amid all the expectations of Christmas, think of yourself as a little kid on Christmas Eve. What hope might your heart stretch to embrace this Christmas? Ask Jesus to meet you there.

4. Read G.K. Chesterton’s gorgeous poem, “The House of Christmas.” Notice how tender and precarious the house of Christmas is.

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