To help us celebrate the coming of Jesus Christ, we will be lighting the candles of the Advent Wreath. These candles signify that Jesus is the Light of the World. The evergreens remind us that He is life and brings life to us. All these being arranged in a circle reminds us that our life in Christ is eternal. (Let the children build their own wreath using small battery-operated lights)
Each Sunday, we will light an additional candle. On Christmas Eve, as we gather with our families, we will light all the candles, including the Christ candle in the center, rejoicing that Christ is our Immanuel – He is God with us!
On this first Sunday of Advent, we light The Prophecy Candle, The Candle of Hope.
(LIGHT ONE PURPLE CANDLE)
- Hope is our assurance that God will finish all He has started.
- Hope is our confidence that He will do all He has promised.
- All the promises of God are fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
- He is our hope, today and forever!
- In 2 Corinthians 9:15, the Apostle Paul wrote: “Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift!”
As we begin the Christmas season, we must review the Old Testament prophecies that foretold the coming of a Savior.
In Matthew 1:22-23, the gospel writer said, “Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Matthew was quoting a specific prophecy from Isaiah that was made more than 700 years earlier.
In Isaiah 7:14, God spoke through His prophet: “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Mary did conceive by the power of the Holy Spirit, and she did bear a Son whom she named Immanuel. This one event should assure us that whatever God has said, He will do, as the Great “I AM,” He has the power to do, even if that means a virgin girl would need to conceive and give birth to a Son.
Prophecy is not the “foretelling” of the future but the “forth-telling” of what God has already ordained to be.
“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. […] For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.”
Isaiah 9:2, 6-7: