2013 Advent Wreath Meditations: Fourth Sunday of Advent (McIntyre)
Fourth Sunday of Advent: December 22, 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.
Matthew 1:18-25 (NRSV)
- Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.
- Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly.
- But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
- She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.
- All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
- "Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means "God is with us."
- When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife,
- But had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.
O God, we can only admire the righteousness and trust of Joseph, who — in the face of public scorn and humiliation — took upon himself the responsibility of caring for Mary and her unborn child, and who was faithful to your call.
(Light the fourth candle.)
Lord, may the light of this candle illumine our path through life, so that our way is the way of righteousness, trust, and faithfulness.
Song: "It Came Upon the Midnight Clear," stanza 1 (United Methodist Hymnal, 218)
It came upon the midnight clear, that glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth, to touch their harps of gold:
"Peace on the earth, good will to men, from heaven’s all-gracious King."
The world in solemn stillness lay, to hear the angels sing.
(All): Come, Lord Jesus, come. Amen.