2016 Advent Wreath Meditations — Year A, Fourth Sunday of Advent
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 2016 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 18, 2016)
For many people, this is a season of grief. When wandering through dark and lonely places, it is best to go with a friend—one who knows us and cares for us. Finding an embrace in the midst of despair can help us overcome our fears and give us confidence and strength to face tomorrow. It is in this season of anguish that we encounter a reading from the Book of Isaiah on this fourth Sunday of Advent.
Isaiah 7: 10-16 (NRSV)
Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, saying, Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test. Then Isaiah said: “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary mortals, that you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. He shall eat curds and honey by the time he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. For before the child knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land before whose two kings you are in dread will be deserted.”
One: The word of the Lord.
ALL: Thanks be to God.
[Light the first, second, and third candle.]
Immanuel means, “God with us.” God put on flesh and became human to be with us, to renew our hope, to show us how to live, and to deliver us from sin and death. We light this candle today remembering that God began that work and will be faithful to complete it. Deliverance is at hand.
[Light the fourth candle.]
One: And so we offer this mysterious prayer:
ALL: Lord Jesus, quickly come.
SUNG RESPONSE: “Come, Lord Jesus, Come”
© 2016 by Discipleship Ministries, The United Methodist Church, PO Box 340003, Nashville TN 37203. Telephone (877)899-2780, ext 7073. Used by permission. Permission is granted to download, adapt, edit, copy, and use in congregational or home worship with the inclusion of this entire copyright citation on each copy. It may not be sold, republished, used for profit, or placed on a website without permission.