Last year, I tossed the traditional Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace candles to help me make sense of a season that, at the time, I had little desire to celebrate.  Perhaps you’ve been there before.  Perhaps you’re there now or know someone who is.  These special Advent episodes are for all who have wrestled or who are wrestling through this season of wonder. 

Last week, instead of lighting the first candle of Hope, we lit the candle of eucatastrophe.  Of the four traditional candles, Hope is probably the one most people still get. But today’s candle, Love, is probably the one that best fits the Inigo Montoya line from The Princess Bride: “You keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it means.”

If you want to test whether love is real or not, ask yourself, “How close does it resemble the love of God?”  There’s where you will find your answer.  So today, we are lighting the candle of redemption at the table of redemption.  And everyone has a place setting with your name on it.  Let us begin.