Of all the characters in the Christmas story, the lowly shepherds were the most amazing to me. Why? Shepherds were outcasts among the people. They were considered “unclean”, and therefore not welcome in the temple services – other than to bring the lambs, of course! But God used them as the first people to go and tell the “good news of great joy for all people.”
Having been inspired by a choir of angels, the shepherds walked to the city of Bethlehem, where they found Mary and Joseph and the child, lying in a manger. Upon seeing the family, they bore witness to what the angels told them about this child, starting first with the parents.
Eventually the shepherds return to their sheep, glorifying and praising God for all they have seen and heard. If God can use a band of lowly shepherds to bring good news of great joy, what do you suppose God might want to do this Christmas through the likes of us? Be that unlikely voice of God’s word to someone today!
THE LIGHTING OF THE CHRIST CANDLE
Read John 1:29
Our waiting is over – Christmas Day is here. As we relight the three purple candles, and the pink candle, we now celebrate the birth of Christ our Savior and Lord.
- The first purple candle was the Prophecy candle; the candle of hope.
- The second purple candle was the Bethlehem candle: the candle of peace.
- The third candle, which is pink, was the Shepherds candle, the candle of joy.
- The fourth candle, the last purple one, was the Angel candle, the candle of love.
- Today we light the fifth candle, the white one, which is the candle of Christ. Jesus Christ, the light of the world has come into our hearts and we rejoice in knowing our sins are forgiven and we are assured of heaven.
As we light the center candle, may we joyously celebrate the good news of Christ’s birth, as well as the joy that filled our hearts, when He was “born again” in us.
- Read Micah 5:1-5
- Read Luke 2:1-20
- Read Psalm 145
We light this candle with great joy and celebration, because Christ is born in Bethlehem. God’s Son has come into the world to be our Savior! And he will come again in glory.
And on this Christmas morning, we join the angels in singing, “Christ the Savior is born!” We join those who are living in the darkness of sin, in thanking God for giving us this light, and we pray for the day when “all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.”
Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King.
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit,
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.
Prayer of Joy and Adoration
Dear God, as we light this candle, we rejoice in the birth of Your Son. May we worship Him, welcome Him, and make room for Him in our hearts. O come, let us adore Him! Amen!
The Miracles Dreams
Susie M. Best
That night when in the Judean skies
The mystic star dispensed its light,
A blind man moved in his sleep—
And dreamed that he had sight!
That night when shepherds heard the song
Of hosts angelic choiring near,
A deaf man stirred in slumber’s spell—
And dreamed that he could hear!
. . .
That night when o’er the new born babe
The tender Mary rose to lean,
A loathsome leper smiled in sleep—
And dreamed that he was clean!
That night when to the mother’s breast
The tender little king was held secure,
A harlot slept a happy sleep—
And dreamed that she was pure!
That night when in the manger lay
The sanctified who came to save,
A man moved in the sleep of death—
And dreamed there was no grave!