2013 Advent Wreath Meditations: Christmas Eve (McIntyre)
Christmas Eve: December 24, 2013
(Light the first candle.)
We light the first candle, reminding us of God’s promise of peace on earth.
(Light the second candle.)
We light the second candle, reminding us that we are to dispel the darkness of sickness, poverty, injustice, and suffering all around us.
(Light the third candle.)
We light the third candle, reminding us to be constant and patient in our relationships and in our living.
(Light the fourth candle.)
We light the fourth candle, reminding us that the way of following Jesus is the way of righteousness, trust, and faithfulness.
Luke 2:1-20 (NRSV)
- In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered.
- This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.
- All went to their own towns to be registered.
- Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David.
- He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child.
- While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child.
- And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
- In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.
- Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
- But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for see — I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people:
- To you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.
- This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger."
- And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,
- "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace, good will among people."
- When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us."
- So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger.
- When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child;
- And all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them.
- But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.
- The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
O God, we have watched for your coming with longing and with expectation, with patience and with hope.
Now, as the prophets promised so long ago, you have come to us once again; and with the shepherds, we are filled with wonder and amazement.
(Light the white Christ candle.)
Lord, you come as a tiny, fragile baby; yet we know that you are God and you are with us.
May the flame of this candle remind us that you are the light of the world and that if we follow you, we will never walk in darkness, but will have the true light of life.
Song: "O Little Town of Bethlehem," stanza 4 (United Methodist Hymnal, 230)
O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel!
(All): Come, Lord Jesus, come. Amen.