Sunday, December 19, 2010


I realize that today is the fourth Sunday in Advent and I cannot, for the life of me, find the fourth reading that I wrote last year for Love. So, I instead have turned to the pamphlet I received in 1991, when I was eight years old, that we received when we assembled our Advent Wreaths. It's the same pamphlet my family used for years, even after we moved across the country and changed churches. Its well-worn pages are written for children's ears to hear.

This reading refers to the fourth candle as the Candle of Faith. So, here you go!

This candle reminds us that Mary was chosen to be Jesus' mother because of her faith in God. Joseph, Mary's husband, had faith in God. He believed what the angel told him. When the baby was born, Joseph named Him Jesus. The shepherds had faith in God. They believed the angels, God's messengers.

In a country far from Bethlehem, in the East toward the rising sun, lived men called "Magi". "Magi" means wise men. These wise men had been studying the stars for a long time. They belonged to a religion that taught that stars could reveal the thoughts of God. Night after night--week after week--year after year, the wise men peered at the twinkling lights ... waiting and watching. Would they ever see a sign from God, they wondered?

Then one night, something very unusual happened. There was a new star in the sky! The ancient Hebrew scripture said that one day a King would be born, a Messiah sent from God. The star would be a sign of His coming!

The Magi, who were led by the star to the Christ-child had a long, difficult journey. They did not come the same night as the shepherds, but much later. When they found the Child, God's Son, they were filled with great joy and fell down and worshipped Him! They gave their precious gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to Jesus. The Magi, by faith, believed that the child was the Messiah, God's Son.

Advent: Preparing Our Hearts for Christmas
Rancho Community Church

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