The purpose of Advent is to draw our hearts towards the celebration and significance of the miracle of the birth of Christ. We pause to prepare our minds, attitudes, and our hearts in anticipation of Christmas morning—and in anticipation that Christ will come again. In the midst of the chaos surrounding this holiday, we stop, still our bodies, and listen, until all is silent … and in the silence we strain to hear it—the cry of a newborn in the darkness. And in the quiet we absorb the miracle and remember that God pierced the stillness and shook the earth through that tiny cry. As the cry pierced the stillness, God’s light pierced the darkness, and we see that light as we light each candle.
Today we will be lighting the candle of Hope.
Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.”
As the patriarchs of old hoped for the coming of a Savior, we now hope for Christ’s second coming. We believe in the prophecy fulfilled and believe that Christ will come again. We all hope. We all need hope. In a time of war, economic uncertainty, and a future unknown, we rest in the hope that God will again keep His promise in the coming of a Savior, as He did thousands of years ago.
Let us pray.
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when He shall come again in His glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through Him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. In Christ's name, Amen.