Fourth Sunday in Advent Candle lighting

For the fourth Sunday in Advent, our Sunday School will present a pagent as the main part of the worship service. I have taken part of the Isaiah text and the Gospel for the fourth Sunday as the basis for the Advent Candle lighting. The song that follows is "A Little Light" by Dakota Road.

Pastor: (Isaiah 7) God spoke to Ahaz and said, "Ask for a sign from your God. Ask anything. Be extravagant. Ask for the moon!" But Ahaz said, "I'd never do that. I'd never make demands like that on God!"

Congregation: So Isaiah told him, "Then listen to this, government of David! It's bad enough that you make people tired with your pious, timid hypocrisies, but now you're making God tired. So the Master is going to give you a sign anyway. Watch for this: A girl who is presently a virgin will get pregnant. She'll bear a son and name him Immanuel (God-With-Us).

Pastor: In the midst of difficulties, Ahaz was unable to bring himself to hope that God would do a new thing in the world. God responded with more than he could ever hope for. We light the first candle of Hope to remind us that no matter what the situation in our lives or in our world, through the love of God, there is always Hope.

Congregation: (Matthew 1:18-25) This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

Pastor: But after he had considered this, Peace came over him when an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."

Congregation: As we light this second candle of Peace we recall the peace that comes over us as we become aware of the presence and leading of God in our lives. We also recall that Jesus was known as the Prince of Peace and as the Children of God; we too are to work for Peace that is more than just the absence of war, in this world.

Pastor: All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"—which means, "God with us." When we have God with us our lives are filled with Joy and we become messengers of God’s love and grace in this world as we help to bring Joy into the lives around us. As we light this third candle, we recall the Joy that fills our lives knowing that God is indeed “with us.”

Congregation: When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus. With the birth of Jesus, Love came into the world. As we light the fourth candle, we remember the words of Jesus in John where we are called to “Love one another as I have loved you.” Today we remember that being a Child of God is a calling to reach out into the world with the self-giving and forgiving love that comes through Immanuel – God with us.

Pastor: As we look upon the candles of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love, we are reminded of God’s love for us and our calling to be the messengers of God’s love for the world. Let us all join together and raise our voices as we sing our Advent song, “A Little Light”


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