Third Sunday - Advent Wreath
Light the first two purple candles and the pink candle.
“In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:4-5)
The third candle symbolizes JOY. It is also referred to as the Shepherds’ Candle. To the shepherd’s great joy, the angels announced that Jesus came for humble people like them, too. The color pink signifies joyfulness and rejoicing.
“Now there were shepherds nearby living out in the field, keeping guard over their flock at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were absolutely terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid! Listen carefully, for I proclaim to you good news that brings great joy to all the people: Today your Savior is born in the city of David. He is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.’ Suddenly a vast, heavenly army appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among people with whom he is pleased!’ When the angels left them and went back to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, that the Lord has made known to us.’ So they hurried off and located Mary and Joseph, and found the baby lying in a manger. When they saw him, they related what they had been told about this child, and all who heard it were astonished at what the shepherds said. But Mary treasured up all these words, pondering in her heart what they might mean. So the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen; everything was just as they had been told.”
- Why do you think God chose the shepherds to hear the good news of the Savior’s birth first?
- Imagine yourself in the shepherds’ shoes that night. Would you also have been terrified?
- After hearing the angels’ announcement, the shepherds hurry off to see for themselves and then tell others about what they saw and were told. What would help you respond with greater enthusiasm to the person and purpose of Jesus Christ?
Almighty God, thank you for revealing yourself and your Son to us. Although we may have heard the story of Jesus’s birth and the gospel message countless times, help us hear it in a fresh way in this Advent season. Open our hearts, minds, and souls to receive it with enthusiasm and respond to it in a vibrant way. Amen.
Elise has attended Scarlet City Church for over 10 years and has served in many areas, most recently as an elementary teacher in Scarlet City Kids.