We want the stoplight to change quickly, the grocery line to move fast, and Christmas morning to arrive soon. We forget that before good things happen, preparations must be made.
Lighting Up Advent: Three sets of Scripture readings | Reformed Worship
Last week we lit the Prophecy candle and remembered those who first spoke the promise of the coming Christ child. The second candle on the Advent Wreath is called the Bethlehem candle. It is a symbol of the preparations being made to receive and cradle the Christ child.
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Two candles, burning bright, chasing away the darkness from light. Two candles, glowing light, The blessing of God, giving new sight. Come, Holy God, come and save us. Come, Holy Christ, come and touch us. Come, Holy Spirit, come and revive us. Come and turn us around, and point us to your kingdom.
Psalm 72 is one of the "royal psalms," sung at the coronation of a new king.
Central to this prayer is the expectation that the king will be just and compassionate and that he will especially protect the needy. The church has traditionally seen this as a messianic psalm since the ideal of the compassionate ruler finds its ultimate expression in Christ. Dear God, as the kings and rulers of our world are enthroned, we have witnessed the elaborate preparations made for those events. By the power of your Spirit, move us to make the preparations needed to welcome you, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
Learn the Symbolism, History, and Customs of the Advent Wreath
Soften our hearts, break down our resistance. Open us anew to your life and love that we may be transformed and may be agents of transformation in the lives of others. For Jesus' sake.
Dear God, in this very busy season with so many things to do, help us to hear anew your voice calling us to prepare the way for our Lord and Savior Jesus. Call us to repentance. Live in us by your Spirit that our lives will produce good fruit to the praise and honor of your name. Jesus is coming, shout for joy! Joy is a word we see and hear everywhere at Christmas. Joy to the world is the message of the season.
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Joy is the theme of this day. Two weeks ago we lit the Prophecy candle and remembered those who first spoke the promise of the coming Christ child. Last week we lit the Bethlehem candle, a symbol of the preparations being made to receive and cradle the Christ child. The third candle on the Advent wreath is called the Shepherds' candle. It remembers the first in a long line of people who joyfully shared the good news of the Savior's birth. The candle is a different color, reminding us that our period of waiting is half over.
Three candles, burning bright, Chasing away the darkness from light. Three candles, glowing bright, The blessing of God, giving new sight. Holy God, create in us a fountain of joy, stir in us a spirit ready to dance, kindle in us the fire of gladness, set loose in us songs of praise. For you are the One who comes with healing and blessing. Psalm praises the Lord as the Creator of the world and the Provider for his people. The psalm contains a wonderful "catalog" of the loving deeds of God, who gives food to the hungry and raises up those who are bowed down.
The words remind us of the answer Jesus gave when John the Baptist asked him if he was the Messiah. Dear God, with joy we acknowledge your care and love for us. With joy we acknowledge that our help is in you, the Maker of heaven and earth, our Maker and our re-Maker through the life and death of the One born in Bethlehem. Through faith in him, grant us solid joy that lasts long beyond this Christmas season and that equips us to face the adversities of life. Dear God, with joy and praise we acknowledge the signs that your kingdom has come in Jesus Christ.
We rejoice in the forgiveness of sin. We rejoice that you have made us new creatures in Christ. With joy we commit ourselves to the proclamation of the good news of great joy. The Advent wreath is a circle with no beginning and no end. It is a symbol of endless love and faithfulness. Out of darkness light shines, pointing us in hope to the One who came to overcome the darkness of this world and to be our light in the world to come. Three weeks ago we lit the Prophecy candle and remembered those who first spoke the promise of the coming Christ child.
Two weeks ago we lit the Bethlehem candle, a symbol of the preparations being made to receive and cradle the Christ child. Last week we lit the Shepherds' candle, remembering the first in a long line of people who joyfully shared the good news of the Savior's birth. The fourth candle on the Advent wreath is called the Angels' candle. It reminds us of the hope fulfilled in the first coming of our Savior and of our continuing hope as we anticipate his coming again.
God of angels and sheep, God of the poor and meek, in these days before Christmas, quiet us so we may hear where new life is struggling to be born, slow our rush so we may hear the faint sound of angel wings and the words whispered in hope. Psalm 24 extols God as the great Lord who founded the earth and whose victorious rule governs history. The earth is the Lord's.
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He is the King of glory. Dear strong and mighty God, by the power of the Spirit who created the earth and everything in it, create in us pure hearts and renew within us steadfast spirits that the hope fulfilled in Bethlehem may more and more permeate our lives until we share fully in your glory. In the name of the King who comes and comes again we pray.
Dear God, in the fullness of time you sent the One promised through the prophets who looked forward in hope. You have given us a living hope by raising him from the dead. Enliven our hope as we live in the expectation of your coming and your coming again. Four Sundays ago we lit the Prophecy candle and remembered those who first spoke the promise of the coming Christ child.
Three Sundays ago we lit the Bethlehem candle, a symbol of the preparations being made to receive and cradle the Christ child.
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Two Sundays ago we lit the Shepherds' candle, remembering the first in a long line of people who joyfully shared the good news of the Savior's birth. Last Sunday we lit the Angels' candle, and were reminded of the hope fulfilled in the first coming of our Savior and of our continuing hope as we anticipate his coming again. In Jesus, a descendant of Jacob, this promise was fulfilled. Jesus, a descendant of Judah, is this ruler. Jesus, a descendant of David, fulfilled this promise.
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