2015 Advent Wreath Meditations — Year C, Fourth Sunday of Advent (McIntyre)
by Dean B. McIntyre
Former Director of Music Resources, Discipleship Ministries
This set of brief meditations and scripture may be used in lighting the candles of the Advent wreath in worship at church or home. Each meditation uses one of the 2015 lectionary readings for that day. The readings are divided into sections that can be assigned to various persons participating, including children. Choose from among the hymn options to conclude each meditation. Permission is granted to download, copy, adapt, edit, and reprint for home or local church worship with the inclusion of the copyright citation on each copy.
Fourth Sunday of Advent (December 20, 2015)
[Light the first three candles on the Advent wreath.]
(Young Woman or Teenaged Reader, or an Expectant Mother): My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. (Luke 1:46b-48a; 51-53)
These familiar words were spoken by Mary upon greeting Elizabeth. Imagine the joy of this meeting when they can discuss their own and each other’s pregnancy together for the first time. And what did they talk about first? A boy? A girl? Baby clothes? New furniture? No. Mary says,
(Young Woman or Teenaged Reader): “My soul magnifies the Lord; I declare the greatness of God, and my spirit rejoices.”
Mary … a young woman … a teenager … not so long before, pregnant and unmarried … declares the greatness of God and recognizes the unique calling she has received. As with so many other mothers before and after her, she does not know what joys or sorrows may follow the birth, but she is ready to rejoice in God, her Savior.
It is for Mary that we light this fourth candle. Mary – blessed among women. Mary – the Lord’s lowly servant. Mary – who believed that God was about to fulfill the promise made to Abraham so long ago.
[Light the fourth candle.]
ALL: COME, LORD JESUS. AMEN.
- “Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming,” No. 216 (st. 2), The United Methodist Hymnal
- “Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne,” no. 2100 (st. 1), The Faith We Sing
- “View the Present through the Promise” no. 3048 (st. 2), Worship & Song
© 2015 by Discipleship Ministries, The United Methodist Church, PO Box 340003, Nashville TN 37203. Telephone (877)899-2780, ext 7073. Email [email protected]. Worship website http://www.umcdiscipleship.org/worship. Permission is granted to download, adapt, edit, copy, and use in local church or home worship with the inclusion of this entire copyright citation on each copy.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, © 1989, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission.