Faith

Christmas Eve - CHRIST

CHRIST

On this Christmas Eve, we light all of the candles of the Advent wreath.

We light the candle of HOPE because Jesus is our hope, our Redeemer and Savior. We light the candle of PEACE because Jesus is the Prince of Peace that brings unity among us.
We light the candle of JOY because the presence of Jesus in our lives brings joy. We light the candle of LOVE because Jesus is love, and through His love we are able to love others.

Last, we light the center CHRIST candle, celebrating the birth of Jesus and the light of His presence in a world of darkness. Emmanuel has come, and we rejoice that the promise of God has been fulfilled in the coming of the Baby born in a manger.

From Galatians 4:4a:
But when the time had fully come, God sent His Son...

Let us pray:
Gracious God, we celebrate the gift of Your son, Jesus and the fulfillment of the hope, peace, joy and love that is found in Him. May our lives reflect to those around us the Good News that Emmanuel has come. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen 

Advent narratives provided by Dallas First Church of the Nazarene

4th Sunday of Advent - LOVE

LOVE

Today we re-light the first three candles of the Advent wreath, PEACE, HOPE and JOY.

Now we light the fourth candle of LOVE. God’s love for us is found in the gift of His Son, Jesus, who demonstrated the love of the Father, and also showed us how to love others.

Jesus spoke these words, found in John 13:34-35:
“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

There is nothing that love cannot face, there is no limit to its faith, to its hope, to its endurance. Love never ends.

Let us pray:
Thank you God for the love you give us. Teach us to love, O Lord. May we always remember to put you first as we follow Christ’s footsteps, that we may know your love and show it in our lives. As we prepare for our celebration of Jesus’ birth, also fill our hearts with love for the world, that all may know your love and the one whom you have sent, your son, our Savior. Amen. 

Advent narratives provided by Dallas First Church of the Nazarene

3rd Sunday of Advent - JOY

JOY

Today we relight the first two candles of the Advent wreath. The candle of HOPE and the candle of PEACE.

Next we light the third candle of JOY. Just as the birth of Jesus gave great joy to his mother, so his presence in the world gave joy to those who had none before. He healed them and gave them hope and peace when they believed in him. We light the candle of joy to remind us that when Jesus is born in us we have joy and that through him there will be everlasting joy on earth.

From Isaiah 12:2-6
Surely God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid, for the Lord God is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. And you will say in that day: Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known his deeds among the nations; proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously; let this be known in all the earth. Shout aloud and sing for joy, O royal Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

Let us pray:
Thank you Lord for the gift of salvation through the birth of your son, Jesus and for the joy you give us. Help us to worship you, to hear your Word, and to share with others about the joy that comes from knowing You. We ask it in the name of the Jesus. Amen 

Advent narratives provided by Dallas First Church of the Nazarene

2nd Sunday of Advent - PEACE

PEACE

Last Sunday we lit the first Advent candle, the candle of HOPE. We light it again as we remember the hope we have that Christ will fulfill all of God's promises to us.

Today, on this second Sunday of Advent, we light the candle of PEACE. As we prepare for the coming of Jesus, we remember that Jesus is our hope and our peace.

From the prophet Isaiah:
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6-7)

And from the Gospel of John the words of Jesus:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)

Prayer:
Gracious God, grant that we may find peace as we prepare for our Lord’s birth. Where there is division or turmoil or stress, may Your peace fill those areas. May there be peace in our cities and in the countries of our world. Help us to remember that you only are the giver of lasting peace. Fill our hearts today with Your peace. Amen.

Advent narratives provided by Dallas First Church of the Nazarene

 

1st Sunday of Advent - HOPE

HOPE

First, we light the candle of HOPE. Jesus is our hope, He is our Redeemer, and He is our Savior. Through Him we have the hope that God will fulfill all his promises.

The prophet Jeremiah wrote in chapter 33:14-16:
“The days are coming, ’declares the LORD, ‘when I will fulfill the good promise I made to the people of Israel and Judah. In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line; he will do what is just and right in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteous Savior.’”

The hope that God gave to his people was fulfilled in the birth of Jesus Christ. And God gives that same hope to us that He will finish all He has started through Jesus.

Prayer:
Father, during this Advent season may we be reminded of your promises to us and the hope that we have in your fulfillment of them. Help us to prepare our lives for the celebration of Your Son’s coming into the world. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen. 

Advent narratives provided by Dallas First Church of the Nazarene