Week Five: Christmas Eve: “Christ Candle”
To review, the first week, we lit a purple candle which is called the Prophecy candle. It reminds us of how God spoke to His people through the prophets, offering them the hope of a Savior. The purple candle from the second week is known as the Bethlehem candle. This candle reminds us that God came to us in humbleness and simplicity. The third candle, the Shepherd candle, was lit reminding us of the importance of the Shepherds as a part of celebrating and honoring the Christ child. The third purple candle lit last week was the angel candle signifying the role angels had in announcing the birth of Jesus.
Today, Christmas Eve, is a remarkable day to celebrate. Today, the last candle is to be lit, and it is called the Christ candle. It represents the life of Christ that has come into this world and to us individually. The color white represents purity. Christ is the sinless, spotless, pure Savior. The sole purpose for Jesus to be born was to pave the way for salvation and eternal life through his death, burial and resurrection. The scripture we read today comes from the gospel of John.
Today, you will light all five candles of the Advent wreath.
Read John 3:1-8 Holman Christian Standard Version:
There was a man from the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Him at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher, for no one could perform these signs You do unless God were with him.”
Jesus replied, “I assure you: Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
“But how can anyone be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked Him. “Can he enter his mother’s womb a second time and be born?”
Jesus answered, “I assure you: Unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I told you that you must be born again. The wind blows where it pleases, and you hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
Today, as we celebrate the birth of Christ, it allows us to have times of joy and happiness. Share with those gathered around you what brings joy to your life as a believer. If you are surrounded by children, this may be great time for a new tradition. Try baking a “Happy Birthday Jesus” cake and making this a part of your family Christmas celebration. This will help shift the emphasis placed on gifts to what the season is really all about- Jesus’ birth.
“Heavenly Father, today as we celebrate your birth, so much of what is done leading up to this day is about commercialism. While it can be fun, it also can detract from the true reason for this day. My prayer today is that I have learned from the Advent season and have slowed down, remembering that you have planned everything in life. You have a plan that involves me in helping to share the truth not only about this day, but about the eternal life found in Jesus, your Son. Amen.”
Thank you for setting out on these Adventures in Advent with us! My prayer is that you and your loved ones experience Christmas like never before, in an attitude of anticipation for the coming of Christ. From my family to yours, Merry Christmas.
As we journey together,
Greg McNeece, OBHC President