If you were unable to join us in service this morning, here is the fourth Advent Liturgy for you to ponder and pray over.
Lighting of the Advent Candles
Today we relight the first three candles of the Advent Wreath - the candles of PEACE, HOPE and JOY. May the the light from these candles remind us that Christ comes to bring us peace in our turbulent world, hope when all seems hopeless, and joy to share.
[Light the three previous candles]
Now we light the fourth candle of Advent. This is the candle of LOVE.
[Light the final colored candle]
Jesus demonstrated self-giving love in his ministry as the Good Shepherd. Advent is a time for kindness, thinking of others and sharing with others. It is a time to love as God loved us by giving his most precious gift. As God is love, let us be love also.
In the book of Deuteronomy we find these words: "For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who is not partial and takes no bribe, who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt."
From the Gospel of John we hear: "I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this, everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
Teach us to love, O Lord. May we always remember to put you first as we follow Christ's footsteps, that we may know your love and show it in our lives. As we prepare for our celebration of Jesus' birth, also fill our hearts with love for the world, that all may know your love and the one whom you have sent, your son, our Savior.